anyone else's toddler ever spoken about 'past life' experiences??????

(327 Posts)
noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 13:33:30

now, am not saying (necessarily) that i believe in reincarnation, but i've just had a rather spooky conversation with my 3 yo dd. (just 3)

the gist of it was that she's bored with being 3 and wants to be a teenager again. when i asked her where i was whilst she was busy being a teenager, she said that she had a different mummy then.

the conversation went on, and then she said that she got sick and she died.

as i said earlier, i'm not saying i believe any of this, but it certainly sent a shiver down my spine.

tarantula Tue 18-Sep-07 13:42:53

dd does things liek this all the time. the ohter week we had a long conversion abotu when I was her sister a long time ago and how we played together.

While I do believe in reincarnation I think that lots of these kind of conversations with little kids tend to be abotu them trying to make sense of the world and deveolpign an understanding of time etc rather than actually ebing about reincarnation.

Lots of people have also commented to us on dd being an 'old soul' and very 'knowing' while dss was always called a 'young soul'.
It does feel very spooky.

fryalot Tue 18-Sep-07 13:44:36

dd2 was telling me only this morning that she was born in a house (she was actually born in a hospital) and the house had a tree in the garden.

When I told her that she was born in 'Ull Royal, she said "not this time, mummy, last time!) shock Twas very spooky.

She does have a very active imagination though

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 13:49:16

what spooky stories!

what seemed odd to me is that my dd doesnt have much of a concept of number (beyond number 3). yet she talked about being a 'teenager', and spoke of her and her friend being 13 and 14.

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 13:53:13

btw, my mum is convinced i was around during the blitz, due to the way i behaved as a toddler when planes flew over head, and my fear as a young child of buildings catching fire.

so as you can see, i've been brought up with this kind of talk.

not really sure what i believe, though.

Joash Tue 18-Sep-07 13:53:24

When DD2 was small she used to talk about when she was a little boy and she got run over by a car on a particular road near where we used to live. She also talked about being a girl, before she was the litle boy and described the church where she got married and the house where she lived with another two families.
We discovered that a little boy was knocked down and killed exactly where she showed us and found the church that she described. She is an adult now and doesn't remember any of it.

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 13:55:08

joash, that sent a shiver down my spine.

Joash Tue 18-Sep-07 13:56:12

didn't do much for me at the time smile

moljam Tue 18-Sep-07 13:58:18

my sister at similar age was convinced she had another family and theyd lived in paris and had a mini,she gave scarily good descriptions of places etc!especially for 3 year old!it went on for quite a while.shes now 20 and thinks we make it up when we tell her all the things she once told us in so much detail!

brimfull Tue 18-Sep-07 13:58:28

my ds has spoken about being in africa with his other family,and various other things.

I've always thought he's just nuts ,never thought about it as a past exp.

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 13:58:30

did you find it very upsetting? did she talk about it repeatedly?

Joash Tue 18-Sep-07 14:02:51

she used to go into great detail. but the worst bit was that she would panic if we tried to cross the road at the place where she says he/she died - that was freaky, especially as we had to cross it daily to get to school. We had to walk about 1/4 a mile further down before she was happy, and even as she grew up, she continued to cross further down the road.
The getting married story was okay as she always seemed very happy when she was talking about that one.

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 14:05:20

omg joash. thats incredible.

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 20:13:04

bumping for evening crowd smile

Lucewheel Tue 18-Sep-07 20:17:42

DD2 used to talk about her other mummy and when she had a horse. She also used to sleep talk and tell me that had spoken to her other mummy again when she woke up. Very strange. Thankfully she has not done it for a few years now.

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 20:33:37

lucewheel, that must have been very unnerving for you!

my nephew iused to do this and talk about his 'other mummy'.
very strange indeed.

Lucewheel Tue 18-Sep-07 20:38:28

noonar, it was even more strange when one of those spiritualist people told me that she (dd2) had 'the gift' and was communicating with someone shock that really freaked me out.

tissy Tue 18-Sep-07 20:40:50

dd once told me about the time that she was a little girl and wore long dresses....

she was a little girl at the time, and wore trousers

all the time


noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 20:42:41

ok, so what do you all make of these 'stories' that our little darlings are telling us??

Lucewheel Tue 18-Sep-07 20:45:03

No idea noonar, I dont like to think about it TBH. What do you think?

bohemianbint Tue 18-Sep-07 20:52:26

Oooh, great thread! I'm going to ask DS if he remembers anything. As soon as he can talk, that is...

Dizzymummy Tue 18-Sep-07 20:53:40

My dd also used to talk about her other mummy but she also had loads of imaginary friends so I wasn't too concerned.

When she started nursery I asked her who was teaching her, she said "miss x, miss y & the gleaming ladies" When I asked her about the gleaming ladies she just said they were shiny & had white hair! (was freaked out by this)

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 20:55:04

hmm. am not totally sceptical. if my dds talked about specific details about past life experiences, at a v young age- like joash's dd, then i'd be almost convinced.

however, my dd didnt give me reason to think that it was much more than her imagination. as i qustioned her more, she just started to talk nonsense! still, it did make me shiver.

TheBlonde Tue 18-Sep-07 20:59:49

I saw a TV show investigating kids talking about their past lives, it must have been a year or so ago though

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 21:00:37

i think that most of what my dd said is down to litlle things she's heard. for eg, she talked about dying and a'fever', which got me spooked.

then i remembered the lyrics to a song on a cd she has... what's that know... it goes 'singing cockles and mussels, alive alive-o'? anyway, the girl in the song died ' of a fever' , didnt she? think my dd was weaving those lyrics into her story!

Rumpel Tue 18-Sep-07 21:03:38

There was documnetary about this a while ago. A little boy who said that he had lived in a white house near the beach in Ireland, and planes used to land on the beach. he was from Glasgow and lived with his Mum and brother. Anyway, they went ot Ireland and found the house (and planes did land on the beach)but they could find no trace of the 'name' he gave them and according to long timers from the area the house had belonged to the same family for a very long time. It was very interesting though.

I also read a fantastic book about a year ago. A woman (living In England) who said that she had past life memory recall of an old house in Ireland and her husband and children. She used to draw this house and surrounding area from a very young age (like a map).

As she got older she began to research her memories in more detail and discovered the place in Ireland. One of her vivid past life memories was being in a hospital bed and seeing the big old fashioned windows in front of her- this is when she was dying. Anyway she eventually went to Ireland and 'met' yes met all her 'children' from her past life. They were still alive. She had died after delivering her last baby in the hospital!! It was a fantastic book but I can't remember the name - sorry. Really accurate and amazing.

utterMadness Tue 18-Sep-07 21:07:32

I used to have vivid flashbacks of falling down some steps and hitting my head and dying. Nothing else though.

noonar Tue 18-Sep-07 21:08:13

what an incredible story, rumpel. i think i am a bit of a sucker for this kind of thing. if the account is detailed and can be verified in some way, eg by finding a real place matching the description- when the person couldnt possibly have been there themselves, then i'd be fairly convinced.

SaintGeorge Tue 18-Sep-07 21:23:12

When DS2 was 3 he started talking about his granddad dying in a car accident. DS2 was born 2001, my dad died in 1999 of cancer, Fil died in 2002 of a heart attack. I told DS2 this but he insisted, saying it was his 'other grandad'.

Apparently they were together in a car and died when they were hit by a train. He spoke about it consistently for a few months. Then he pointed out to us where the level crossing (where this accident happened) was. A level crossing that was removed in the 1970's, along with the train tracks. Also strange was that when he told us all these details, he spoke very clearly. At the time he had a lot of speech problems (still under SALT age 6) and such clarity was normally impossible.

He only occasionally mentions it now, although he has since told us he had 3 brothers.

Rumpel Tue 18-Sep-07 21:23:56
Rumpel Tue 18-Sep-07 21:29:41

I'm bumping to hear other folks' experiences.

bohemianbint Tue 18-Sep-07 21:48:01

this is a great book...

Lucewheel Tue 18-Sep-07 21:58:10

There is the Audrey Rose books aswell

stressteddy Tue 18-Sep-07 22:01:07

I've poted this on here before but whenever I sing the listen with mother song to my ds his eyes glaze over and he starts to really weep. He is not a crier by nature. When I stop singing the song he always asks for more in a very sad way
I have only done this twice - the second time to see if the first was a fluke. It wasn't and the same thing happened

Very weird and quite upsetting
I have to say it did feel as if he had been taken over by someone else. Not a pleasant thought

stressteddy Tue 18-Sep-07 22:01:51

I don't think the crying was anything to do with my singing either!!!

TheBlonde Wed 19-Sep-07 10:31:09

Rumpel - that's the show I saw, the little boy talked lots about his other mummy

hecciesmum Wed 19-Sep-07 15:54:44

ohhh - I had a spell of this with ds 1. WHen he was 3 he would say, "when I was your mummy and you were a little baby, I lost you in the stinky water mummy. And I couldn't find you and I was crying because I had lost you"...

I must admit to having bee a bit spooked by it at the time, but I do sometimes wonder if we were together before....we are so close and he is such an old soul in some ways. He also spent the first 3 years of his life terrified of fine now and the stories have stopped.

Am curious as to whether ds2 will have anything similar.....possibly now...he seems much "newer" to me IYSWIM...

3littlefrogs Thu 20-Sep-07 19:22:54

Yes - but they do forget as they get older and more focused on the present IYSWIM. Once they are about 3 IME

noonar Fri 21-Sep-07 20:03:59

wow. more amazing stories...oyur posts have made extraordinary reading, folks.

i will have to order msyelf a copy of that book. smile

fransmom Fri 21-Sep-07 21:17:27

i also have the feeling that i have met dd before and that she was my mother. she too is an old soul

This is all so interesting!, When I was expecting my daughter an only child, Ihad the strange sence that I knew her and could describe her charactor and it turned out that I was right and it's not because I was thinking of my Husband or my own charactor as she is quite different. Also I feel I will have a shy little boy next, interesting to see if i'm right.

When my eldest son was about 3, he talked to as well as about his "other mummy", whom he called Sally, and his "other brothers". They were very much a reality in all our lives for a while, and a medium I spoke to said she thought it was his spirit guide that he could see and talk to.

He also, at the same age, told me knowledgeably that all souls are "recycled" -that babies look down and choose their mummys and daddys, before "swooping down" into the mummy's tummy and waiting to be born.

We'd never discussed any religious views with him, so it was a bit of a shock when he started to talking to us like that, but I think he's an old soul who knows that 'there are more things on Heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our philosophy'.

Also went to a medium when just pregnant with 3rd child and she told me I had a dark boy, a blond girl and she asked if I'd lost a baby. When I said no, she said there was a blond boy standing behind me, waiting to come. I didn't know the baby's gender at the time, but felt that he was a boy - and so he was!

bloodsuckingLOONEY Sat 27-Oct-07 19:25:50

Oh.....I love this thread!!! I've not had anything like that but I've always believed I've been here many times before.

Ds has never said things like that but did send a shiver down my spine when he used to say (aged 2/3, can't remember) 'when I was in your tummy it was very very dark but lovely and warm and wet and cosey'. I've just asked him now (he's 4.7) and he couldn't remember at all and found the whole thing very funny! grin

I totally believe in all this stuff though. One day I'm going to get my fab psycic to do past life regression!

SeaShells Sat 27-Oct-07 19:33:33

My DS was about 3yrs old when he first talked about a previous life where he was a fisherman named John who died at sea in a storm, he is also terrified of water oddly. We never thought much of it at first but over the years he's regularly come back to it in conversations. He tells us he has lived many times and is an 'old soul' and several family members have said similar things about him too.

Flowertots Fri 30-Nov-07 05:17:38

I'm very much a cynic in all of this kind of stuff and actively avoid it. My conclusion is that children's minds work overtime and that a lot of what they see and hear during the day will affect their dreams (as it does with adults), so I'm not surprised that they're so convinced that what they've dreamt about actually happened and that they can describe events so vividly. I think that the attention and reaction they get from adults will only encourage it.

With regards to accidents on roads, houses burning down etc, you could pick any spot in any road anywhere in the world and chances are that someone's been run over there at some point or someone's house got burned down. It's all too coincedential.

A good friend of my mum's went for a reading with a "psychic" years ago who told her that her husband and son would die in a car accident. At the time she was unmarried and had no children. She couldn't bear the idea of having to spend the rest of her days alone because she couldn't bear the thought of her family dying and in the end fell into a deep depression and committed suicide.

Unfortunately, I think there's too many "psychics" out there preying on the weak who are looking for guidance or simply need answers to their questions. Of course they're going to tell you that your children have supernatural powers, who goes to these people go hear something normal and boring. They wouldn't make so much money if they simply told you the boring truth.

I'm not convinced-they're nothing more than dodgy car dealers to me.

lispy Fri 30-Nov-07 07:28:19

Don't spoil the fun!

Columbia Fri 30-Nov-07 07:30:48

Loving this thread!

Flowertots Fri 30-Nov-07 12:52:00

lol!!! Sorry Lipsy

marissab Sun 07-Apr-13 08:58:00

Ok i am going to ressurect this thread because my 2 yo daughter is doing wierd things. She is very sensitive to others emotions. If someone is sad, she will stop everything to cuddle them. Very emphatic. lately she's been doing strange things like we heard her on her baby monitor talking to grandma. Grandma has been dead almost 20 years! She points to her on a picture often and says "Grandma". She picked up my ukulele and a stick and said it was a violin. She started playing it like a violin. I have wracked my brains and cannot think how she would know what a violin was, let alone how to play one. Then last night i had a really good dream. My dd toddles in this morning and the first thing she says to me is "good dream mummy?" How could she possibly know this????

Queenofknickers Sun 07-Apr-13 10:24:08

When my DS was 2 he used to talk often about his "other house" and "other mummy" and how it was a farm but "that was all before". He stopped talking about it after a year but again has often been described as "old soul" and even as a newborn was wide awake and watching.

He is named after my Dads late brother who died suddenly and accidentally aged 23 and I hadn't told anyone outside the family about this but my friend who goes to a psychic group came rushing to see me and said a "message" had come for me and that my DS was being "watched over by a young man with curly hair in an RAF uniform" - description of my late uncle.

Don't know what I believe but I honestly had not told anyone why my son had that name.

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 10:39:32

So what about the monster thats apparently under my ds's bed? Is that real? Or the zombie that's in my dd's wardrobe? That real too? How on earth have you decided that anything they say that sounds like a past life is true but the stuff they come up with at bed time is their over active imaginations?

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 11:00:25

Is it just me or are there a lot more sceptics around these days ready to jump in and dismiss/ridicule other people's experiences?

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 11:04:16

Toddlers have incredibly vivid imaginations.

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 11:12:08

I'm not dismissing the experience but questioning the explanation some posters have given for it and to do so is fully within the rules of MN. If you disagree please do report my post.

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 11:24:35

Just to reinforce my point seeker... smile

I just think it says a lot that 6 years ago when this thread was started there were 3 pages of posters sharing their experiences with very few sceptical comments and today, after 1 post, there are 2 people jumping in to be dismissive.

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 11:25:26

Or to 'question the experiences of others' if you prefer.

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 11:43:20

So what point are you making? That 2 skeptics have posted? What do you think it means? The OP said she wasn't saying 'she believed any of it' so felt more than happy to jump in for discussion, and to be fair anything is open for discussion on a discussion forum.

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 11:45:54

Just that there are more around these days - ready to jump in. I said that in my first post. I've noticed it a lot recently on this board and others.

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 11:47:14

Again I'm questioning the explanations some have arrived at.

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 11:49:08

More sceptics - that's fantastic! It means more people are actually using their brains and critical faculties. That makes me happy!

Oh, by the way, why on earth is questioning someone "being dismissive"?

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 11:50:11

Okay, so there are 2 posts from skeptics, but it doesn't mean anything? Why mention it?

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 12:15:35

It was an observation headinhands...I've just noticed that on older threads, skeptics were less likely to comment. Whether that means people are more skeptical now or whether skeptics in the past just stayed off the threads that didn't interest them or whether people weren't quite 'blunt' even if they didn't agree..who knows?

seeker, I notice you on these types of threads a lot, commenting on what people have seen/experienced even though you weren't there. What amazing psychic abilities you have wink

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 12:28:54

"seeker, I notice you on these types of threads a lot, commenting on what people have seen/experienced even though you weren't there. What amazing psychic abilities you have "

The problem is that I don't have to have been there. Because all these experiences are very similar, and have very similar explanations.

For example, if you google Jenny Cockell, you will very soon find sensible, common sense explanations of her experiences. Which might just stop people wasting money on her wholly discredited book.

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 12:56:35

What you call blunt I call honest discussion. How would you suggest there was a non supernatural explanation for a child recounting things that seem like they lived before without saying as much? And you know what, we're all adults here, I think we can cope with having our views challenged, I enjoy being challenged and invite it, it's how we all learn after all.

Twosugarsplease Sun 07-Apr-13 12:57:34

I found the documentary of the young boy in Ireland fascinating too !
As I recall, his mum wanted to take her son back to the place to help her son, as he was quite distressed by his memory and it gave him a kind of closure. I felt so sorry for him, think everyone did.
You just couldn't doubt him, watching it all and explanations he had given his mum.
I think our souls/energy are powerful things, and to think this little boy clearly had a lost soul within him that perhaps was in some kind of limbo. Bless him.

Ledkr Sun 07-Apr-13 13:00:58

Dd3 once ran I to the room and announced his name was <insert name>
He was barely two. The name was that if a young lad who had been murdered in our town.
Pushing it to the back if my mind a few days later he showed me where he used to live when he was "somebody else"
On checking it was if course the rd where said murdered boy had lived hmm I honestly had to push it out if my head and rarely talk about it.
I just can't imagine any other explanation.

Twosugarsplease Sun 07-Apr-13 13:11:25

I believe the young are still very much in tune, unfortunately some are able to remember little things and in the boys case mentioned above, he remembered it all, and felt confused as to where everyone in his past life had gone, which was really sad.
I think if your son isn't distressed himself by this ledkr I wouldn't worry, hopefully it will dissolve from his memory.
Must admit I would have been taken aback myself smile

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 13:36:18

What we know about the physiology of our brain based on observations/tests etc show that our memories are stored in the hippocampus. When we look at people who have had that part of the brain damaged we clearly see loss of memory function. How do you suppose these memories survive after the brain dies? At what point in our evolution did we start to come back for 'another go' as it were? Was there a time when amoebas had memories of a previous existence? Do all living things live again and again including bacteria? How do we account for the difference in population figures i.e. there are presently around 6 billion humans on earth, what about the time when our numbers were much smaller? Who/what is making the new souls/spirits?

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 13:44:59

Why do you think we should be able to answer those questions? All anyone can offer is their experiences and theories. Even your own theories/explanations are based on what we know (or think we know) about the physiology of our brains. Some people are open to the possibility that there may be things we can't explain yet because we don't know everything.

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 14:01:06

Bumbymummy- of course there are things we can't explain yet. But there has never been a "psycic experience" which can't be explained.

duchesse Sun 07-Apr-13 14:12:09

DD3 is always telling me about when she was a big girl. Most of the time it transpires she's just confused and/or acting out stories she's had read to her.

TreeLuLa Sun 07-Apr-13 14:16:16

DS often talks about "when I was a little girl" I say to him, no, DS, you've been a little boy ever since you grew in Mummy's tummy.

DS "No, mummy, BEFORE I lived in your tummy I was a little girl hmm

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 14:17:45

But bumble, in light of your reasoning skills, how are you able to so easily disregard a small child's claims of monsters in the wardrobe. Following your own logic you would have to accept that there may well be a green and purple pterodactyl under your 4 year olds bed. How can you in one situation think logically and bring what you know about the world to bear and reassure your child that it's her imagination, but in the other situation think there is something to it. Because both possibilities have as much evidence. Do you not see the glaring contradiction?

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 18:38:27

seeker, maybe there hasn't been one that you (or another skeptical person) hasn't tried to explain but that doesn't mean that it happened that way. smile

headinhands, I was referring to your comment about what we know about the brain so far not allowing the concept of reincarnation. I'm open to the possibility that we don't know everything about the brain, so perhaps it doesn't all work quite the way we think. I'm not sure how that means that I have to believe in pterodactyls under the bed.

expatinscotland Sun 07-Apr-13 18:41:09

My elder daughter did this. So did the son of a mate.

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 18:46:38

Occam's Razor.

expatinscotland Sun 07-Apr-13 18:51:38

It was just a coincidence, surely.

PavlovtheCat Sun 07-Apr-13 18:52:18

My DD told was about 3 years old and we were making cupcakes - she told me, casually, that reminded her of when her nana/my mummy showed her how to make them, she said was sat on her kitchen side and was allowed to stir the mixture.

I asked her what she meant. She said 'nana showed me how to make cakes before' and I asked her when that happened. She laughed and said 'before you were born mama!' (with a sort of exasperated sigh that suggested I should already know that!)

My mum died when DD was 6 months old. DD was around 3 when she said this.

It completely floored me. She has also said a fair few other things relating to my mum/her nana when too young to lie/tell grand stories that have made me go shock and has on occasions suffered from severe night terrors and during those night terrors pointed to 'nana' saying 'can't you see her? why can't you see her?' and I know they were not bad dreams as they followed the patterns that her night terrors did. She was around 5 when they phased out and it was around that time they became something other than just crying out and not being able to be woken.

Unfortunately, they were prominent as a toddler and have fizzled out now.

I always insist I am a sceptic about all this. But these don't feel like coincidences. So I must keep an open mind as I can't find any other explanation that fits, especially the above scene. And, well, it's quite comforting to think that maybe somehow, my mum and my daughter are linked spiritually. And I often wonder who she might have been if she 'knew' my mum before I arrived.

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 19:13:21

headinhands, I was referring to your comment about what we know about the brain so far not allowing the concept of reincarnation. I'm open to the possibility that we don't know everything about the brain, so perhaps it doesn't all work quite the way we think. I'm not sure how that means that I have to believe in pterodactyls under the bed.

Explain how you know there isn't a pterodactyl under the bed?

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 19:23:59

expat, I think you wrote about your daughter's experience before....with the sheep?

headin, explain how being open to the possibility of not knowing everything about how the brain works has anything to do with believing in pterodactyls under the bed. (aside from the fact that you could just look under there to rule it out smile)

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 19:32:02

You have as much evidence for reincarnation as you do the existamce of monsters in your child's wardrobe. Each have as much evidence, ie, none. How are you able to determine one is plausible and cast the other off?

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 19:34:53

Ah but the problem with merely looking under there is that someone will say 'its there!' but you however can't see it because your mind is closed to it or something of that ilk.

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 19:40:31

Well that would depend on what your child had told you really wouldn't it? Some people's children have given quite detailed information that can/has been verified - more than just saying there's a pterodactyl under my bed.

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 19:42:56

Could you link me to this verifiable data please that I might be ale to pass it on to the scientific community. I think they'd be very interested in this testable evidence.

Januarymadness Sun 07-Apr-13 19:43:10

Isn't the point of critical thinking that you openly listen to all arguments and then decide what you think? How can you hear what others are saying when you are trying to talk over them insisting they are wrong.

As long as people arent hurting or taking advantage of others then I respect their right to believe what they want. I may not agree but that is my business.

marissab Sun 07-Apr-13 19:49:38

Eek i've strated something now havn't? I don't know any of you but because this comes under the same section as the religious threads, maybe it challenges or upsets some others beliefs. That aside, i believe we cannot know everything about the world and how it works. So i just stay open minded and i just am very curious as to where my child, who has never seen a violin, would know how to play one? I have been watching cebeebies like a hawk to see if anyone plays a violin on there. Not seen it yet. But equally i'm open to the idea that she may have seen it somewhere.

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 19:58:32

I'm talking about what some people have posted on the thread headinhands - when your child is giving you information about your own family that you know they couldn't possibly know you would probably be more inclined to believe them wouldn't you? Or do you just not believe anything your child tells you if it doesn't tie in with what you 'know' to be correct?

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 20:24:00

If children were coming out with such accurate knowledge backed up with data as this post alone suggests why has it not come to the attention of academia by now? Because it's all anecdote and nothing ever comes of it when it's put under scrutiny. The same way that the existence of angels and UFO's and astrology and tarot is all but ignored by the scientific community. There's just nothing to go on, nothing to test, nothing to work with unlike everything we have discovered about the world such as electricity and gravity.

lisalisa Sun 07-Apr-13 20:26:24

My ds did this when v young. He just announced one day when about 3 that he had had another mummy and said her name but it sounded a bit garbled but what was odd was that he asid he lived in Italy. I don't think he'd heard of Italy at that age and we certainly have no links there. For a significant period of time he was " comparing" our life now with his life then. Was spooky but then again I believe in reincarnation ( find it comforting that when we go at least its not over forever) .

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 20:31:24

These are very strange stories. I saw a programme about it once. They say it could be some sort of retained memory from past relatives handed down in genes or DNA or whatever rather than reincarnation. That doesn't sound so beyond the realms of possibility.

Januarymadness Sun 07-Apr-13 20:34:22

Something like that is untestable in acedemia and you know it. An academic could not be 100 percent sure that a parent had not given the information away in the past. Any test on that basis would prove inconclusive.

It may well be that something HAS been said which the child has picked up on. But you dont know for sure and neither do I. Let other people reach their own conclusions.

Januarymadness Sun 07-Apr-13 20:36:01

Oh but I may have solved the violin problem. Zingzillas......

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 20:39:08

Good posts JM smile

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 20:47:29

Which is the most likely explanation seeing as we have absolutely no reason to think otherwise.

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 20:50:41

Do you know for sure there isn't a zombie in my dd's wardrobe? According to your method of reasoning it would be grossly negligent of me to leave the wardrobe in her room because it might be true.

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:01:19

Again, not seeing a link here...where does my reasoning point to zombies in wardrobes?

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 07-Apr-13 21:03:59

Has your DD told you that there is a zombie in her wardrobe or a pterodactyl under her bed Headinhands?

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 21:07:25

"I'm talking about what some people have posted on the thread headinhands - when your child is giving you information about your own family that you know they couldn't possibly know you would probably be more inclined to believe them wouldn't you? Or do you just not believe anything your child tells you if it doesn't tie in with what you 'know' to be correct?"

No. I just know that we tell children more than we think we do, and children pick up more than we think they do. Children hear things and put two and two together.
My brother went with a friend to a past life regression thing, and his friend told everyone loads of stuff about his life ans an Anglo Saxon-lots of incredible detail. The only thing was, it was all the plot of a book that my brother remembered reading as a child. His friend had read it too - but didn't consciously remember it. The past life memories in books and films are the same. Honestly. The Irish boy and the fighter pilot one are all like that,

greencolorpack Sun 07-Apr-13 21:08:42

I remember giving a lift to my sons friend who was 3 or 4 at the time and we were looking out the window at suburban streets and he started telling me he remembered when this was all forests and farmland (it was pre 1870) and he told me very matter of fact about how he had lived before in this area. I chatted away to him for ages about it, he seemed very sure of himself. Never mentioned it to his mum.

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:11:09

They aren't all like that seeker and I know you linked to something which apparently disproved the fighter pilot thing before but iirc even that article said that there were some things that it couldn't explain and, in any case, they were offering suggestions about how it could have been but that doesn't necessarily mean that's how it was.

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 21:11:42

Sorry Bumbke, was referring to January's assertion of the untestable nature of past lives. If untestable equals plausible we can't disregard anything.

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:13:29

Untestable doesnt necessarily mean impossible though smile

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 21:19:33

Dione it was just a made up thing but the one I remember the most is dd and her skeleton phobia, she said they would come up out of the floor! She must have picked it up/mixed up ideas from somewhere. That seems more likely than the possibility that she had seen skeletons come up out of the floor in a previous life.

lisalisa Sun 07-Apr-13 21:25:51

Ok what does everyone make of cases where a person has been regressed under hypnosis to a past life and has started speaking fluently in a language not their own or not known to them and describing places and events from a bygone era which check out as fact when researched? how can this be referred memory?

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 21:28:33

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” Hitch.

He says it better than I ever could. The person making the claim has to bring the goods to the table. If they have nothing to back it up the claim it can be, and should be ignored.

By what process do you decide what is likely/true?

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 21:30:19

I just think that its a little off.... to maintain something couldn't happen, when you cant prove that it hadn't.

one persons experience and the conclusions they draw from it are as valid as anyone else's.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 07-Apr-13 21:31:01

But your DD didn't say that she had experienced skeletons emerging from the floor in a past life, did she?

The difference here, from what I can tell, is that people are discussing specific conversations where a child has claimed to remember a life before this one, people, environments, that sort of thing. You are talking about bedtime fears. They are both quite different.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 21:32:31

Headinhands... It can be dismissed by you because you don't have the evidence, but They have the evidence of their experience

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 21:34:03

"Ok what does everyone make of cases where a person has been regressed under hypnosis to a past life and has started speaking fluently in a language not their own or not known to them and describing places and events from a bygone era which check out as fact when researched? how can this be referred memory?"

Speaking fluently in a language not the own? Please could you show me something which says this has actually happened?

lisalisa Sun 07-Apr-13 21:35:54

Seeker - I read a book about past life regression and this was the one case that really really stood out - all the rest could be people not going back to past lives at all but just recounting memories. I have read of this type of scenario a few times now but don't recall the name of the book unfortunately .

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 21:39:12

So what you're saying Dione is that we should believe what the child says. (in which case there are shadow monsters in my ds's bedroom) The issue here is testimony vs what we know to be true. If we start to believe what people say just because they are saying it we have to believe everything anyone has ever said. Do you not see the problem with that method of discerning facts. We have to simultaneously believe in all religions to start with. How do you decide what is and isn't fact? What method do you use?

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:43:03

Head, by that logic we should probably assume that all scientific discoveries have been made now and there is nothing new to discover. I mean if we don't have evidence for it now then it can't be possible! It's a good job some people aren't put off that easily and don't just dismiss ideas because they don't have proof that they are possible yet.... I don't think we would be where we are today if everyone did that!

headinhands Sun 07-Apr-13 21:43:46

So littlebit you regard everyone's testimony as evidence? Do you believe all personal accounts of fairies/aliens/werewolfs etc? If not then you don't actually mean what you just said.

EasterHoliday Sun 07-Apr-13 21:45:39

seeker there are frequent news stories of people who suffer strokes / come out of a coma speaking languages they never knew or in accents (think Jamaican patois) completely unfamiliar & not local to them.

marissab - there's a Peppa Pig episode where she plays the violin - it sparked an obsession in my daughter which still hasn't passed

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:46:02

The issue is that you are assuming that you know something is true...

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 21:47:21

Of course not everything's been discovered yet! The whole point about science is that it changes when more stuff is discovered. But that doesn't mean we have to be so open minded that our brains fall out. And if there is a sensible, non woo explanation for something, then that's the explanation to go for. If there really aren't any sensible non woo explanation, then that is the time to consider the woo explanation. But not before.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sun 07-Apr-13 21:47:54

Blimey, I don't know about past lives but this thread has certainly been reincarnated.

It's the oldest Zombie thread I've seen. shock

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:48:52

I don't know about that seeker ... I bet the germ theory of disease was considered a bit 'woo' initially.

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 21:50:18

But there was loads of proper evidence to support it.

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:53:35


DioneTheDiabolist Sun 07-Apr-13 21:55:45

I am not saying that you should believe either or both. Belief was not the point of my post. What I am saying is that bedtime fears and claims of a life before this one are too different to be compared. One is quite explainable, the other, less so.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 22:00:58

headinhands... I believe that it could be real to them.

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 22:04:19

"one persons experience and the conclusions they draw from it are as valid as anyone else's."

This is simply untrue on all possible levels.

The experiences of a person suffering an extreme mental illness are not as valid an interpretation of reality as those of someone who is NT. When medical science can describe exactly which hormone levels are elevated when 'episodes' occur and exactly the affect that has on the perception of the individual, their testimony of angels and demons can easily be dismissed as being far less likely a representation of reality than the next persons.

When people say they do not credit memory of previous lives, they have the weight of the over whelming maority of human experience behind them. They have the fact that no one has proven beyond reasonable doubt that such a phenomenon exists (in spite of the hundreds/thousands of people who have claimed such an ability). They have the scientific facts surrounding the influence of brain death on memory, and the evidence of the ways in which immature brains function differently to mature ones.

When people say their toddler is telling them of a previous life, they have only the words spoken by said toddler with no means to verify their origin at all.

These two points of view are almost as far from equally valid as it is possible to be.

stifnstav Sun 07-Apr-13 22:04:57

I used to do weird stuff as a child. I'd use very oldfashioned phrases and make people feel very uncomfortable.

Apparently I used to have periods when I'd be amazed by modern appliances and I'd tell my mum about what we did without them. Imagine a young child standing looking at a washer with a hand on her chin and the other on her hip and shaking her head in disbelief - they called me the Old Woman.

I honestly don't know what I think of it now. But I have witnessed other children saying very weird stuff too.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 22:05:33

what I mean is... that if they have experienced something that I haven't... it doesn't necessarily mean that they are wrong.

and I don't have to believe them its enough for them to be convinced by what they saw.

I'm happy with their explanation IYSWIM

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 22:07:30

Seeker..I wonder what you would have said about Pasteur's theories at the time? "No point in looking for those 'woo' explanations about germ theory ...we have a perfectly sensible non-woo explanation about disease already...." you got to love those open minded people who think outside the box!

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sun 07-Apr-13 22:08:45

I remember a couple of these types of stories that have been on TV.

One was a little girl who was upset and wanted to go 'back to her family' and tell them she was OK. She was in Africa - but a long, long, long way away from where her 'old' family lived and her parents couldn't afford to take her and kept hushing her up, but they got so distraught by it that somehow a TV company got involved and they took her there. Everything was as she described it, the house, the directions to the river where she had drown, the people she pointed out as her 'original' parents had lost their daughter in exactly the way she described - how on earth do you explain that (other than saying it's all a sham for the TV?)?

These things are often reported with quite a lot of detail that small children couldn't possibly know unless it was true (as some posters above have given) and some children even have scars etc.

I can't explain how it happens - but then there's a lot about this world that I can't explain how it happens or see it for myself but just have to accept...<shrug> I'm not so ignorant as to think we hold all of the answers.

PavlovtheCat Sun 07-Apr-13 22:09:07

ah, I see this thread has stopped being about those who have had experiences, as asked in the OP and more about arguing against, or for the idea of it generally. I might well have not posted hmm

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 22:10:04

Icbineg, some people on this thread have been able to verify it...

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 22:10:51

hmmm okay so from the other toddler woke up screaming about pooping last night. She had not in fact pooped. It may be that mysterious forces are at work. Or it may be that she is a toddler and got confused about dream and reality.

I am keeping an open mind....

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 22:11:12

bum no they haven't.

seeker Sun 07-Apr-13 22:11:57

"One was a little girl who was upset and wanted to go 'back to her family' and tell them she was OK. She was in Africa - but a long, long, long way away from where her 'old' family lived and her parents couldn't afford to take her and kept hushing her up, but they got so distraught by it that somehow a TV company got involved and they took her there. Everything was as she described it, the house, the directions to the river where she had drown, the people she pointed out as her 'original' parents had lost their daughter in exactly the way she described - how on earth do you explain that (other than saying it's all a sham for the TV?)? "

If you give me some more details, I'll research it and let you know. The will be an explanation- there always is,

AlanMoore Sun 07-Apr-13 22:12:02

I'm glad you did Pavlov, your post was v interesting thanks

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 22:12:39

Pavlov, I thought your post was really interesting. Hopefully we'll be able to get the thread back on track with more of people's experiences. Much more interesting than arguing about whether they are right are wrong! smile

marykat2004 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:13:38

I read a book full of case stories like these. My niece did something like that, saying she hyad another mummy and daddy before, and making her dad walk her for miles to find this "other house" which was in a town that her parents claimed they had never told her about. She eventually gave up on the long walk. She did often talk about this "other mummy and daddy."

The strangest thing my DD did was pick up a wooden church when she was about 10 months old, and say "eglise" (church in French) (strange but she may have heard it from French people we knew). But she has never talked of "other" mummies or daddies or places.

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 22:14:50

pavlov I liked the bit where it fizzled out as her brain developed. I wonder if anyone can hazard a guess as to why that might be?

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 22:17:09

seeker I would imagine you wouldn't have to look much further than people playing along to see if there is any money in it. Certainly that will be the motivation of the film crew...but as long as they didn't speak to anyone at any point it might still be reincarnation....

marissab Sun 07-Apr-13 22:22:03

All i have to say right now is ZINGZILLAS! Of course that is probably it. thanks to who posted that. grin

PavlovtheCat Sun 07-Apr-13 22:31:58

ICE I expect as we grow older, whatever is going on in our brains is open to corruption and external stuff. For example. As a child, a young child I used to meditate. I never even knew I did it. I used to get an 'outer body experience' of sorts and used to deliberately make it happen by repeating over and over 'who am I?' and fixing my glaze on a spot on the wall, or better, looking into a mirror. I would find myself looking through myself. I used to love that feeling and from then always wondered if there was more to us than just flesh and bone.

But, as I grow older, I became more cynical and stopped being able to get to that space. I expect, DD has grown knowing real facts about nana now, and anything she does say would likely be taken by me as coming from our many conversations about her. And same with past life experiences - even if she were to talk about stuff now I would be more inclined to put it down to her good imagination, fab make-beleive and excellent listening skills. But, I know some things she said before those things could have influenced her were too 'out there' to be coincidence. Once, maybe. Several times. I can't quite put it to bed as explainable.

DS, same age as DD, never had one single thing like that. So not just a childhood developmental thing.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 22:32:49

ICINEG you must feel really safe in your little world, where everthing knowable is known and proved and testified.

I feel sorry for you.

PavlovtheCat Sun 07-Apr-13 22:33:10

and I wasn't fishing honest! I just noticed a few posts that were just ignored due to the need for A to be correct over B. When in fact, we will never know for sure. Not til we are dead anyway. Or not, depending on what the truth is.

greenfern Sun 07-Apr-13 22:41:01

When my DD was three she asked where the bird ornament was describing in great detail the wooden stand and where it was placed at the window.

I was quite shocked As this ornament was actually my granny's and stood at her window. My Gran died many years before my DD was born.

EllieArroway Sun 07-Apr-13 22:54:54

Bumble There was never anything "woo" about Pasteur's theories - that was good science. No one would have accepted a single word he said if he hadn't demonstrated his case with testable, verifiable data. A very poor comparison.

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 23:10:15

Yeah it is terrible being so constrained by evidence....

No fairies, unicorns, ghosts, or past lives.

Don't know why I will bother getting up tomorrow.

Seriously how DARE you people use all the benefits of scientific endeavour (phones, computers, internet etc.) and so off handedly deny its basic tenets?

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:11:07

'you people'


littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:14:29

In order for evidence to be found.... it has to be looked for.

If we only ever spoke about what was proved by evidence, no one would ever look for anything outside what we already know.

In fact... we'd all still be in caves because 'its nice and safe in here, innit?'

I bet the first person out was mocked too, going against the evidence that caves are safer than woods/jungles.

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 23:14:57

If anyone had ever proven they had information that they could only have via memory of a previous life, then there would already be a scientific theory regarding reincarnation. It would be in the science, not philosophy/spiritual/religious realm.

Because that is what science IS.

Find high quality evidence then build a model that explains it.

There is no scientific theory of reincarnation because there is no reliable evidence it happens.

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 23:15:37

little yes you in particular. Get off the internet right now because you don't deserve it.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:18:09

I believe that there are things we cannot explain so I don't deserve the internet.....

I am open minded to the thought of new discoveries....

I pity your small mindedness

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 23:19:03

little yes scientists are so averse to looking for evidence that they completely refuse to even test homeopathy....oh wait that's the OPPOSITE of true.

Pavlov So when your daughter is a toddler and still has an undeveloped brain is the time you think she speaks unadulterated truth, but once her brain is fully functional she has been 'contaminated' by the real world?

Wow. I can't imagine the world we would be living in if everyone thought like that. Thank goodness someone somewhere along the line was willing to see what is really there rather than what they want to see...otherwise we wouldn't have ...oh I don't know...electricity?

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 23:19:14

Ellie, the germ theory of disease was initially rejected.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:20:22

would you be happy for your very small child to be poked and prodded and held up for scientific examination......?

ah yes... Information gathering

Never mind the wellbeing of the child...... SCIENCE

bumbleymummy Sun 07-Apr-13 23:21:14

Imagine if no no one had considered the possibility of the Internet...where would we be? smile

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 23:23:22

little there is a difference between acknowledging the existence of real phenomena that we cannot yet fully explain (this is what science does) and seeking an explanation for things there is no evidence of the actual existence of.

eg. we cannot explain the finer point of the operation of quantum mechanics in that we have no theories that completely reproduce all of the observed phenomena.

we cannot explain how homeopathy works, but then there is no evidence that it I am cool with that.

Hence there is no need to explain how memory of previous lives works because there is no evidence that memory of previous lives exists.

It is not small minded to only seek an explanation for those phenomena that have actually been shown to occur. It is utterly reasonable to not seek an explanation of fairies, unicorns, ghosts or memory of past lives.

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 23:25:56

but I HAVE considered the possibility of reincarnation.

I considered it...then I did more. I looked for evidence of it.

I found none. I found none on the internet. I found none n the peer reviewed literature.

It is possible in the same way that it is possible that the moon is made of cheese. There is no evidence for either...and both have been investigated.

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 23:27:49

little you have no fucking clue what science is.

greenfern Sun 07-Apr-13 23:28:00

That's a shame noonar, I was really enjoying your thread then someone has to come along and spoil it. (Sad)

PavlovtheCat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:31:22

ICE wow. You are on fire with your harshness. Fucking hell. You asked why it might be, I gave an answer. And you responded with, what exactly? a rant. But that is not directed at me I feel. You seem wound up. I had not realised until I read your posts thoroughly, I had thought you were genuinely asking, didn't realise you would be so scathing. I shall be sure to steer clear of any other threads where you tread. <round of applause>

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:33:48

you sound lovely.... living in your black and white world.

I have experiences of things that cannot be explained by science, religious fervour, medication or mental illness.

I chose to keep the actual experience to myself because people who see things in black and white are keen to diminish my experience.

I have come on this thread to seek out other people who have had scientifically unproven experiences too.

You cant ell me that I didn't have the experience because it cant scientifically prove it, you also cant say that I don't deserve to seek out explanations.

you must be very smug in thinking that you know all there is to know, or all that will ever be known....

I just don't understand how you can be so SECURE in your knowledge that science backs all.

PavlovtheCat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:34:34

green indeed. Perhaps I will continue to read this thread, ignoring the chill in the air. I am not entirely sure I have ever actually come across someone so fucking rude. But I suspect that's the point of it all. No-one would be so disrespectful to people without being aware of such an impact.

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 23:34:55

green yeah well (sad) is accurate.

Toddlers say weird shit, a whole lot of weird shit. Also there are a whole lot of toddlers. Some tiny fraction of the weird shit that toddlers come out with happens to coincide with something unexpected in the real world.

You know what would truly be 'spooky'? If nothing ever said at random by a toddler happened to match up with real life in the past etc. The chances against that are astronomical.

There would be a stronger case for mystical forces if there was not one instance of a toddler coming up with a plausible past life story.

The mere existence of toddler past life stories proves beyond reasonable doubt that all is right with the world and there is no need to call in the mystic powers to explain anything.

Anyway I will let you get back to your ohhhh its sooo spooooky bullshit. Future generations will find it useful to have something so obvious to look down on us for...

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:36:12

Hear Hear PAVLOV.... I think i'll give them a wide berth too!

ICBINEG Sun 07-Apr-13 23:38:35

Ohhh nooo! please don't avoid me! I would love to continue to hear about your 'feelings' and 'experiences' and how they are equally valid to weight of scientific evidence!

oh wait...

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sun 07-Apr-13 23:42:34

ICBINEG - are you OK tonight? It's not like you??

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Sun 07-Apr-13 23:42:48

I wouldn't waste my time telling you... See that's EXACTLY what I meant.

Anything that doesn't fit your black and white view is mocked....

May I quote the great bard.....

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sun 07-Apr-13 23:47:22

Seeker - I don't remember many more details, it was several years ago and there were about 3 stories on the one program. The girl was about 10, she had been playing with friends in a river and she slipped on the wet rocks and banged her head/drown. It was in Africa. It was a TV documentary. I can't even remember who fronted the doc. I can remember the 'feeling' more than anything... her 'new/current/actual' parents were very angry with her for keeping on about it, but she was so upset and determined that eventually they found help to get her there and everything was just as she had said and she pointed the parents out and they'd previously told the story of how their daughter had drowned, exactly how and where she said. It was hundreds of miles away from where she was living... sorry, that's all I remember.

Ignoring the arguing .
Great thread OP smile

My Db from a very early age was petrified of anything WW2 related (from being a Toddler) .
He use to hide under the table when he heard an aeroplane ,loud bangs etc , Rocking back & forth begging my DM not to let them take him , saying he had to hide from the soldiers .
When he was able to speak more he use to talk about being in a Concentration Camp & been hungry & Cold & how he went in to a room & never came out all this before he was 6 .
At school in History he Had to sit out of the class when studying WW2 as he use to scream & hide under the table rocking back & forth , the teacher said he was in some kind of trance & he completely unnerved the whole class .
You could never mention anything about that era to him cos he would just hide , It's only recently that it doesn't affect him as much & he is now 26 .
My Dm was on a school trip once at a place where witch trials were held like a museum house iyswim & at the top of the stairs my dm fainted & when they brought her round she was saying that she couldn't be caught as they would hang her .
She still has nightmares now about been hung , she can't wear anything round her neck .
Their are a lot of Old souls in my family & its great to hear everything & not one ounce if it us made up !

EllieArroway Sun 07-Apr-13 23:59:52

Ellie, the germ theory of disease was initially rejected Every theory was initially rejected by someone - scientists don't believe something just on the say so of another. Evidence convinced them. It still works like that today. It's called the scientific method.

bumbleymummy Mon 08-Apr-13 00:02:52

Oh good Ellie, I'm glad you're open to the possibility that just because we can't prove something now doesn't mean that it isn't a possibility. smile

bumbleymummy Mon 08-Apr-13 00:05:27

Your poor brother crazydrunk sad Did he ever try regression therapy or anything?

EllieArroway Mon 08-Apr-13 00:07:55

Oh good Ellie, I'm glad you're open to the possibility that just because we can't prove something now doesn't mean that it isn't a possibility

Of course I'm open to the possibility. That's what it means to be rational. I'll look at the evidence and make a decision from that.

When there's no evidence at all, it is highly irrational to go ahead and believe anyway.

Prove these ghosts/past lives exist, and I'll believe. Why ever not?

bumbleymummy Mon 08-Apr-13 00:10:42

Isn't it a good job that some people do look for evidence that goes against the current way of thinking...otherwise we really wouldn't get anywhere. smile

bumbley We tried to get him to but he still won't talk about it , he just manages to pass over it if he catches anything on the tv etc , would love him to though as I'm really fascinated

bumbleymummy Mon 08-Apr-13 00:17:43

It does sound pretty traumatic can kind of understand why you wouldn't want to drag it all up to the front of your mind. I'm quite curious about it myself...I wonder if I'm an old soul or a shiny new one smile

EllieArroway Mon 08-Apr-13 00:19:48

Absolutely. Slightly odd that in the hundreds and hundreds of years that people have been looking for this evidence, none whatsoever has been found. In the meantime, we've managed to put man on the moon, rid the world of small pox and invent the internet, but those ghosties elude everyone. But, hey - believing something on the basis of "Oh well, future scientists might find that it's true" makes perfect sense. Not. So, fill your boots.

bumbleymummy Mon 08-Apr-13 00:26:41

Who knows what they'll find...I'm just open to the possibility of it smile

EllieArroway Mon 08-Apr-13 00:34:40

Well - me too.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 08-Apr-13 00:37:58

Quite a few scientists have claimed that there is evidence for reincarnation based on various studies. Studies and experiments regarding reincarnation are ongoing.

EllieArroway Mon 08-Apr-13 01:00:32

Yes - and when subjected to peer review, as all science is, all of this "evidence" has been rejected as not conclusive. The consensus currently is that it's ^ pseudo science ^. Of course research is ongoing - as is research into little green men, homeopathy and ESP.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 08-Apr-13 01:16:17

So, it's not that there us no evidence, it is simply that the evidence presented so far is not conclusive.

EllieArroway Mon 08-Apr-13 01:20:43

Why are we talking about science, exactly? It has no relevance here - this is Religion, Philosophy and Spirituality. Oh - unless you decide it's relevant, I suppose? Is that how it works?

There's "evidence" for everything - but it's whether the evidence reaches the required standards to draw a conclusion from. In this case, it does not.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 08-Apr-13 01:30:53

I was only addressing your post of 00:19. I then quoted your follow up post. I can't see what I did that was wrong.confused

EllieArroway Mon 08-Apr-13 01:37:40

Like I said - you'll discuss science when you it thinks it supports you but dismiss it as entirely irrelevant because of the forum we're on when it doesn't.

There aren't many people who make me feel like an intellectual giant but......

Goodnight. Sweet dreams wink

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 08-Apr-13 01:50:18

I'm not discussing the science. I haven't read it, but I am aware that it exists and was merely making you aware of that too.

rockinhippy Mon 08-Apr-13 01:56:19

Yes, mine was an early talker, full sentences by 16 months & we had no end of very spooky conversations with her in the early years - she even referred as her other mother & father - not mummy & daddy - said we were kinder than her first ones, she remembered dying & was freaked out that she would die again because she said she remembered dying last time & everyone being sad & crying & she didn't want us to cry & that she knew her Mother & Father hadn't meant to hurt her shock

On top of this, we got daily comments of "ladies don't drive cars, ladies don't wear trousers, ladies don't drink, ladies don't go into bars" etc etc etc - which had no bearing at all on how we are, or the people we know confused

I even had her nursery key worker ask me about it all, at first I was reluctant to own up to it all for fear of looking barking mad, but she followed it up with things DD had said to her about her past life & us being her new mother & father - we had quite an interesting chat about it, she said that she often saw this with early talkers - funny though, even the midwife who delivered her commented " oh look at hose eyes, this ones been here before" - seems she wasn't wrong shock but she gradually grew out of it & doesn't remember any of it now

bumbleymummy Mon 08-Apr-13 08:22:24

shock rockinhippy

bumbleymummy Mon 08-Apr-13 08:29:52

Ellie, it was me who brought up science initially. I was pointing out to seeker that some things that have now been accepted as science were originally rejected and probably bought of as a bit 'woo' because they didn't tie in with the ideas and knowledge that people had at the time.

WhatTheWaterGaveMe Mon 08-Apr-13 11:11:45

pavlov - I used to do that!! I would stand in front of a mirror repeating who am I and really concentrating until I genuinely didn't know who I was and I saw myself from the outside - it was really freaky though and then I'd get upset but I'd still do it again!

Can't believe I'm not the only one lol

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Mon 08-Apr-13 11:39:07

ICBINEG - I have a genuine question for you (sorry to hijack the thread, I am really enjoying hearing your experiences)

ICBINEG - how do you square up scientists who believe in God then? are scientists ONLY allowed to be interested in science, because I feel that you are denying a whole section of society the right to believe in anything that cannot be proved. (and that's why its called FAITH?)

ICBINEG Mon 08-Apr-13 12:53:47

little the scientists I know compartmentalize that. They apply rational scientific method in one area of their life and suspend it for the other. I expect I would do the same if I had faith. We all have blind spots or suspend our scepticism for some things....I do it for the purposes of watching/reading scifi....just switch off the bit of my brain saying ' THAT could ever happen' and enjoy the film/book.

ChippingIn Is this the story you were talking about?

From this website ( It's in Sri Lanka, not Africa, but the story sounds similar?

"...Professor Haraldsson gave the film crew a very dramatic case from Sri Lanka.

The film crew and Professor Haraldsson arrived at a small town called Veyangoda in Gamphaha district to visit the Nissanka family. The couple had a daughter named Dilukshi Nissanka. The mother said that Dilukshi repeatedly said that she was not the Nissanka family's child. She believed that her real home was at Dan Bula, which is situated in the middle of Sri Lanka and over 100 kilometers from Veyangoda. When she was young, her parents sent her to a kindergarten run by a Buddhist temple, but she said, “My temple is at another place.” During meals and before going to bed, she repeatedly talked about her “real home.” Her parents thought she was joking, so they did not take her words seriously at first. However, she repeatedly talked about it and gave a lot of details about that family and the life down there, including her clothing, furniture and property. She said that she was pushed into a river and drowned while playing at the river. She had a clear memory of many details about the river and the scenes of the surrounding area.

Was she talking about fantasies? Professor Haraldsson said that if it's only a child's fantasy, she usually would think of relaxing and comfortable things, not death by drowning. For Dilukshi's mother, her daughter's “past life memories” made them feel sad, thinking that her daughter was not satisfied with their care.

Dilukshi's parents could not stop her from making continuous requests to look for her “real home.” Finally they went to the most famous temple in Dan Bula, the Rock Temple, to ask the abbot for help, since Dilukshi had talked about the temple as well. They asked the abbot if he knew a girl had drowned. The abbot said he did not know of such a girl, but he introduced the visitors to a reporter that he knew. The reporter interviewed the Nissanka family and published the story in the newspaper, including the details of the past life as described by Dilukshi. Several days later, the Nissanka family received a letter from a village in Dan Bula. The writer, Dharmadasa Ranatunga, said in the letter that the story published in the newspaper, including the scenes from the surrounding areas of the river, exactly matched the experience of her deceased daughter Shiromi. She wanted to meet Dilukshi.

Dilukshi and her parents went to her Dan Bula “home” by car. Before reaching the village, Dilukshi described with excitement everything in the village, and even guided the driver on how to get to her “home.” Her parents were really surprised. Eventually Dilukshi met with her parents, sisters and brothers of her past life. She was on her knees and burst into tears. The reunion in two lives made her parents feel both grief and joy. The onlookers were all touched by the scene. Dilukshi recognized her things, as well as the neighbors of her previous life. Professor Haraldsson noticed her demeanor also changed in this home. Her worries disappeared and she was not that stiff any more. It seemed that she was a lot happier and more carefree here.

Later, Dilukshi led Professor Haraldsson to the place where she was drowned in her past life. By a small river there was a big stone, and children often played there. Dilukshi said that she drowned there."

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Mon 08-Apr-13 14:21:46

so you are allowed to suspend your scepticism, but we aren't?

how is that right?

I believe in science.
I believe there are things yet to be discovered.
I believe there are things still needed to be invented in order to 'prove' what is, well, IS.

Why am I not allowed this open mindedness? Why am I wrong?

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 08-Apr-13 17:07:50

The science neither supports nor disproves my beliefs on reincarnation. I don't have any strong feelings one way or another.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Mon 08-Apr-13 19:28:03

Clarabella - yes it must be!! Well done finding it. Sorry about the 'Africa' red herring & I had thought it was thousands of miles, but... as I said, it was years ago.

Now watch seeker someone debunk it!


I do believe there is so much more to life & death than we will ever know in our lifetimes - I can't believe some people are so willing to dismiss others experiences and try to belittle them.

Twosugarsplease Mon 08-Apr-13 19:43:05

chipping I agree with you there, clarabella's post of that story was fascinating, how could anyone not believe a child who can show so much recognition...? To me that is clearly evident these people mean something to him.

ICBINEG Mon 08-Apr-13 19:45:08

The thing is as follows.

If you think about someone and then that person phones you, you get a little creeped out.

It's fine to experience this phenomenon (obviously given the number of people on the planet this kind of thing is going to happen alot, in fact it is going to happen to some people multiple times...ust plain old statistics at work).

It is fine to feel creeped out. Coincidence feels strange when it happens to you.

But it isn't fine to think this constitutes evidence of psychic powers. In order to produce evidence of psychic powers you would have to rule out coincidence being the most probable explanation.

Again it is fine to consider the possibility of psychic powers (and fun if you are a sci fi fantasy geek).

But it isn't fine to think they really exist based on something so nebulous and incredibly likely to happen in the absence of psychic powers.

The same is true of toddler stories. There are millions of toddlers telling hundreds of millions of random stories. Some of them are bound to turn out to match up with historic context the toddler could not have known. Therefore it requires something a lot less nebulous to demonstrate the actual existence of reincarnation.

Feel free to suspend your disbelief long enough for a quick 'ohhh the hairs stood up on my neck' but then do come back to reality afterwards...and please don't encourage your child to believe your initial irrational interpretation.

ATouchOfStuffing Mon 08-Apr-13 20:05:12

How about kids that can see 'ghosts' - is it an attention thing? A friend's son used to always be pointing at people who had died; a cyclist through the window of the car, an old man in a top hat in my house etc etc. It got to the point she felt very spooked and started ignoring it completely in the hope it would stop, but he would sometimes chat away or be reduced to tears for seemingly no reason.
I remember my mum telling me I went on and on about how 'the king came over the mountain' and she thought I was on about Herad. I have always had suspicions I was actually confusing the lyrics of 'The bear came over the mountain' but then I don't remember telling her at all!

IndigoBarbie Mon 08-Apr-13 21:30:17

Haven't read all threads yet, but just wanted to share this link

What about when it's not just toddlers who recall 'past lives' plenty of adults do too, and some of them even have the research to prove their prior existence.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Mon 08-Apr-13 22:49:54

TwoSugars it has stuck with me for years, it was really really convincing.

ICE - how can you explain toddlers knowing about stuff that there's absolutely no way they could have found out about in this lifetime?

susiedaisy Mon 08-Apr-13 22:54:29

Marking my place, fascinating thread!

ICBINEG Tue 09-Apr-13 00:16:26

chipping how can you explain someone correctly guessing the lottery numbers even though the odds are millions to one against?

ICBINEG Tue 09-Apr-13 00:38:54

atouch I don't think it is an attention thing. I think toddlers have very active imaginations...and a slight problem separating pretend/dream/imagined from real. People with serious MH issues also see ghosts, it isn't attention seeking then either.

My own DD (22 mo) was recently banging on about a 'yellow bear' she had lost for a good 3 days. She has never had a yellow bear and as far as I can tell there isn't one at any of the play groups she goes to.

So if I 'believed' I might go out searching for the yellow bear and, when I inevitably discover that someone somewhere in the family history had a dearly beloved yellow bear that they tragically lost (and if I widen the search to enough relatives then someone somewhere WILL recognise the story) I could ask how the hell my daughter could know about a yellow bear that went missing 60 years before she was born.

But the far more likely answer is that she had a dream about it, or saw something like it in a book etc. and got confused.

The same is true for the stories related on this thread. In the last 100 years there have been around 7,000,000,000 toddlers each of which will have had multiple random incidents in which they synthesised memory/dream/observation into something that didn't happen to them explicitly, making the order of 100,000,000,000 stories/not quite memories. It is all but certain that at least some of these will match in an entirely coincidental way with past events that the toddler knew nothing of.

If you made up 100,000,000,000 different stories don't you think at least a few of them would turn out to have actually happened? Would that make you psychic?

Most 'hits' will be superficial or ignored. The odd one will randomly hit 3,4,5 details correct, in the same way that if enough people play the lottery not only will someone win in a given week, but someone sooner or later will win 3 or 4 or 5 weeks in a row.

In fact we already have multiple lottery winners. Do you think they are psychic? Or can you see that such events are statistically likely?

bumbleymummy Tue 09-Apr-13 06:22:15

I just find it strange that many of these children are talking about death - sometimes in quite unusual ways. It seems a bit odd for a young child to talk that way.

worley Tue 09-Apr-13 07:02:20

my ds2 used to talk to his nursery teachers about his other mummy. after me probing it turned out I wasn't his real mummy and he was just staying with me for now. he named his teddy bear Michael after his brother who had died when he fell out of a tree. he also had a particular thing about elm hillt in Norwich and refused to walk down there. he is six now and doesn't talk about it as much but we still do have visits from random invisible "friends" who come to chat to him. when he started at school there was a man called jack who no one else saw (the school was used as a base during ww2 for soldiers)who used to talk to ds2. now he's moved schools he doesn't get to see him anymore!!!

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Tue 09-Apr-13 07:13:03

Icbineg- I love the way you quote science then pull random numbers out of the air to try and back up your claims.....

Isn't that the same technique used by snake-oil sellers?

munchkinmaster Tue 09-Apr-13 09:10:49

I'm not wanting to get into a massive debate here. I found the first few pages of this thread intriguing. I do wonder if we as adults get very spooked by kids talking about thier 'other mummy' as we have a very clear concept that mummy is a unique position/relationship so another mummy sounds spooky. Your average preschooler has lots of friends, maybe 2 grannies, 3 uncles, knows 6 bus drivers and imagining/talking about another mummy or a 2nd mummy just isn't as significant or weird for them.

ICBINEG Tue 09-Apr-13 09:34:18

little they aren't random they are order of magnitude correct.

Everyone currently alive (7,000,000,000) was a toddler at some point in the last 100 years.

I will admit that the 15 random stories of a slightly spooky disjointed nature per toddler is a fairly arbitrary is based on my DD coming up with them at a rate of 1 per month since she has been able to verbalize.

If you think that estimate is wrong then what do you think it should be and why?

<join in the's fun...>

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Tue 09-Apr-13 12:30:13

I do embrace science, I also embrace that which science cannot YET explain.

after all for YEARs and YEARS and YEARS scientists maintained that the atom was the smallest possible building brick... yet hey, presto they split it open to find MORE stuff inside!

Have an open mind... that's fun too!

IndigoBarbie Tue 09-Apr-13 14:24:57

I think it's when your toddler turns round and says things like 'I had to get my men into the mountain' and then 'we are in India'- then the adult says, oh that must have been warm? then the toddler says 'no, it's very very cold' have to get the men to safety.

rockinhippy Tue 09-Apr-13 14:31:57

or " sobbing their little hearts out, telling you they were looking down & they were in a bed & not alive anymore, but it not like beds you have mummy, they were different when I lived with my other Mother & Father & we had lots of thin duvets too & all my bothers & sisters were crying, I miss my bothers & sisters so much"

MostlyLovingLurchers Tue 09-Apr-13 16:54:33

Anyone interested in past life recall by children may want to have a look at the work of Dr Ian Stevenson. He says himself that it doesn't offer proof, but they are interesting cases. Most of his research is in southern asia and i do wonder how much of this is cultural - past life recall (if that is what it is) in children seems to be far more common in places where belief in reincarnation is the norm, although of course it may be that the research is skewed to those areas entirely because reincarnation is the norm. I'm not aware of any serious study in the west?

I've never read any example of a past-life regression that has proven to be verifiable as fact - all the ones that purport to be have more holes in than my dog-walking leggings (and that is quite a lot blush ).

IndigoBarbie Tue 09-Apr-13 21:47:55

Mostly loving, yayyy. I posted up a link from one of his youtubes earlier on. My link wasn't linky enough though......

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 07:46:35

Dr Ian Stevenson- the man who said that people have birthmarks because of injuries they have sustained in past lives?

The man who left a locked filing cabinet in his office, saying that after his death he would pass a message from beyond the grave with the combination-but which is still locked 7 years on?

MostlyLovingLurchers Wed 10-Apr-13 09:55:09

Doesn't stop his research being interesting - i did say it wasn't offered as proof. There are many who have said that they would try to send a message from beyond the grave - Houdini springs to mind - and clearly none have succeeded. Why? Well, 1) there is no life beyond the grave, 2) It is difficult/impossible to communicate clear/any info from beyond the grave, or 3) He was reincarnated into someone else before he got a chance grin .

The birthmark thing is rather odd i agree - some are clearly hereditary. My ds has the same birthmark as has ggf had, but since my dp and fil also have it they can't all 1) have suffered exactly the same trauma in exactly the same place in a previous life, or 2) be the reincarnation of the same person given that three of them are alive at the same time.

While there are clearly flaws in his work he at least did attempt to look seriously at these stories. He didn't try to use them to flog any belief and was happy to say that they were inconclusive. It isn't an easy area to research, but i don't think that means it should be disregarded.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 10:04:41

"It is difficult/impossible to communicate clear/any info from beyond the grave,"

Mumsnetter's 3 year olds seem to have no difficulty at all!

ICBINEG Wed 10-Apr-13 10:20:08

little As I said earlier I also embrace that which science cannot explain. But toddlers making up stories that once in a few billion stories have a scary correlation with past events is not in that category. Science can explain that very well as I believe I have demonstrated on this thread without recourse to reincarnation.

I am glad you would like to embrace the science!

Step 1. Identify the phenomenon.

I would frame the evidence in the following way.

Most toddlers will speak on occasion about things that have not actually happened to them or pertain to objects and places that they have not actually seen.

Often they move on quickly from a particular example, often onto another example also not grounded in their current reality.

On some occasions, the toddler is either particularly determined, or encouraged by the parent to explore the 'story' further.

On a very few of these occasions a correlation is found with actual past events, distant places that the toddler had no prior knowledge of.

So I have made the first move and suggested a hypothesis:

That the correlation to real events is coincidental and due to the vast number of stories being told, and the vast number of places objects to which the stories could refer.

In making this hypothesis I am drawing on acknowledged cases of coincidence based explanations in areas such as the 'think of a person and then they phone you' phenomenon, in which it is incredibly unlikely that it will happen to you but incredibly likely that it will happen to someone on the planet because there are so many people. Similarly it is very unlikely that you will win the lottery but likely that someone will.

I estimated the number of occasions of toddlers producing a statement not relevant to their actual real life experience in the last 100 years as being in excess of around 100 billion. This is based on a world population of 7 billion and each toddler coming up with on average 15 such statements.

My conclusion is that if you were to list 100 billion random statements of the kind that toddlers come out with you would be incredibly likely to be able to find some that matched well with actual past events, or distance places. The harder you were willing to look the more likely finding more matches becomes. And hence that there is no evidence for reincarnation being the explanation for this phenomenon.

The next step is for you to either:

a) dispute my numbers and suggest numbers you think are more realistic and why,

b) dispute my conclusion from the numbers (that it is incredibly statistically likely that at least some random stories will match up with past truth) giving a reason why,

c) accept that my hypothesis is sufficient to explain the phenomenon and that toddler pronouncements are not evidence of reincarnation.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Wed 10-Apr-13 10:37:50

but your first assupmtion is that this is coincidence and then everything else backs you up. that's NOT how scientists work...

I didn't read past this point

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 10:48:18

Isn't it sensible to start with the simplest, most credible explanation of a phenomenon, the, if that explanation doesn't fit, then move on to more complex, less credible ones?

ICBINEG Wed 10-Apr-13 11:16:36

little I didn't assume it is coincidence. I have attempted to demonstrate that coincidence is sufficient to explain the events.

If coincidence is sufficient then it is impossible to demonstrate that something more is needed.

Coincidence will always be occurring - there is no way to stop it?

ICBINEG Wed 10-Apr-13 11:19:23

Also it really really is how science works. You start with the relevant known things that you cannot rule out happening, and then only look to add new elements to your model if your current model doesn't explain the results.

eg. today I had a student with a weird looking spectrum. First stage is to see if the things we know about already can add up to that...only if the answer is NO would we look for an alternative.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Wed 10-Apr-13 11:32:11

if you see hoof print you assume its from a horse


Sometimes, it will be a zebra.

That is also how science works.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 11:34:03

If you're in the Kentish countryside, you would have to have some pretty bloody amazing additional evidence to even consider it being a zebra. And basing anything on it being not a horse would be pretty stupid!

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Wed 10-Apr-13 11:40:20

BUT it could be. escaped form the safari park.

I just don't understand the insistence that I should dismiss these experiences. there are plenty of people on here that feel as I do, and have come along to share.

however they are getting drowned out by your insistence that because they cant be explained by science they are ......wrong

and anyone who enjoys hearing about/wonders about is wrong too.

Now i'm big enough to admit that it cannot be explained by science YET. you are so blinkered that you cannot even entertain the idea that there are things that cannot be explained.

I don't ever think we are going to come to an agreement on you?

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 11:47:13

Of course there are things that can't be explained -yet - loads of things!

And if the hoof print was near a wildlife park then it would be silly not to have in the back of your mind that the print might be a zebra's - even thought it was still probably a horse.

But why is closing your mind to sensible, realistic explanations better than opening it to the paranormal?

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 12:16:54

Mostly, as I understood it, he wasn't saying ALL birthmarks were a result of a past life trauma/experience - just that some birthmarks seemed to tie in with injuries that were spoken of in their past life experience.

Also, ICBINEG, these stories aren't necesarily working from the idea that a child talks about a random event and it correlates with something by chance due to the number of possibilities out there - sometimes specific information is given about people or places - that reduces the randomness.

If people can accept that we don't know everything yet then I don't know why they stick so rigidly to what they know to explain everything as if there could never be any other possibility. If you never consider other possibilities how could anything new ever be discovered?

ICBINEG Wed 10-Apr-13 12:52:45

What I genuinely don't understand is why I am being accused of not admitting the possibility of reincarnation.

I have engaged in an attempt to determine the relative likelihood of reincarnation or coincidence. How could you do that without admitting the possibility that coincidence isn't enough?

As with seekers zebra, asking what the probability is that this is a hoof print from a zebra or a horse implies the idea that both are possible.

If you are in the middle of a riding stable in kent, then the answer is maybe millions to one that it is horse not zebra.

If you are near an African watering hole the answer is maybe millions to one that it is a zebra not a horse.

So by analogy, our hoof print is a toddler telling a story about something that did not happen to them, that they haven't read or seen, but that turns out to be true.

There are (at least) two possible causes.

1. coincidence. If enough toddlers tell enough stories some of them are bound to match up with truth just by chance. No matter how detailed the 'hit' is, names, dates, places etc. if you have billions of chances you will eventually get it exactly right BY CHANCE.

2. reincarnation. If people are actually reincarnated then at least some of them may remember previous lives and be able to speak about them.

My argument is that BOTH of these options can explain the 'hoof print'.

So that leaves us with relative probability of each being correct.

Number 1. must be happening. Toddlers are known to confuse dreams and reality, to miss-remember things and even to become strangely fixated that things are called different names to what they are (mine is calling me Nanny instead of mummy for no particular reason). We also know the physiological processes of brain development that lead to these 'mistakes'. So the combination of the scientifically known and understood aspects of toddler behaviour with the shear number of toddlers and the size of the planet mean that it is a statistical inevitability that some toddler somewhere will even now be telling a story that sounds spookily like your childhood.

So coincidence is SUFFICIENT to explain the hoof print by itself. This doesn't rule out that reincarnation is happening, it just means that the toddler phenomenon cannot prove the existence of reincarnation, because an alternative explanation is not only possible but in fact likely.

The existence of horses in a stable in Kent where a hoof print is found does not disprove the existence of zebra. But it does mean that the hoof print cannot be used as evidence for the existence of zebra. Because the hoof print not only may belong to a horse, but is likely to belong to a horse.

So my view on this is that there is no direct evidence to demonstrate reincarnation that cannot be ascribed to a more likely already known process (coincidence).

There is also a huge amount of circumstantial evidence arguing against reincarnation, like the massive rarity of anyone reporting past lives, the unknown processes of soul creation, transition, and destruction. Similarly there is no evidence that human consciousness is anything but the product of the physical brain or any known mechanism for consciousness to continue after cell death.

So having been open to the possibility and looked at all the available data, I come to the conclusion that it is extraordinarily unlikely that reincarnation occurs.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 13:01:24

When she was a toddler my dd spent ages as a flamingo, another ages as a lemur, and a particularly awful week as a spectacularly bratty baby called Holly. Among other alter egos.

Holly had a complete and complex back story which I remember in graphic detail to this day.

Ds insisted ongoing everywhere backwards, doing a truck reversing beep, beep, beep as he did so.

Both of them often wanted to pretend that they were the mummy and daddy and dp and I were the children.

None of this is evidence- or even a suggestion that they were reincarnated!

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 13:08:07

I can accept that a child's random story could sound like some person's life somewhere down to coincidence. I find it harder to believe that a child could give details about names/places/events that match up down to coincidence.

Saying 'I used to live in France and had a black cat' is not the same as saying your name was X, you lived in a specific town, your house had particular features, your parents were called Y and Z and you died/were killed in a certain way.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 13:11:52

The trouble is, bumbley, that whenever any of those specific stories are investigated, they turn out to be a hoax, or unconscious suggestion on the part of the parent. Sad, but true.

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 13:16:23

Seeker, do you think people are saying that every story their child tells is about a past life? My children haven't told me anything that makes me think they are talking about past lives but that doesn't mean that I don't think that other children haven't...

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 13:18:38

I haven't found that seeker - pretty much all of the explanations I've read (some of them have been your own links) have either made some assumptions of have accepted that they can't explain certain aspects of the story.

munchkinmaster Wed 10-Apr-13 13:19:32

I googled that Joanne cocknell stuff yesterday (or whatever her name was) and it was really interesting how what looked like massive coincidence wasn't really. I also thought it was telling that the kids who as elderly people accepted her as thier mother had basically had thier lives ruined (split up into orphanages) by thier mothers death. No wonder they were accepting of her and the fact her appearance reunited the siblings.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 13:23:47

Bumbley- I don't agree. If you would like to give me one of the cases you think is sound, I'll do some digging.

And no, I don't think everyone thinks their child's stories mean they are reincarnated. But if I was inclined to believe such things, I could easily have believed that my dd was a reincarnation of the deeply ghastly Baby Holly she channelled for a while. The amount of detail she put into the back story was extraordinary.

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 13:29:59

Maybe if you were able to find a baby Holly that matched that incredibly detailed back story you would feel different smile

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 13:32:34

Maybe. But more likelymif I had a thorough look at the back story, I would find bits of the lives of people she knew about, things she had watched on telly, stories she had been read, family history she had overheard.....

Have you found a case you want me to look into yet?

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 14:06:46

We've looked at some of the same cases and I've read your links and I've already commented on them. Any other case I present to you will be more of the same - oh well they might have heard about that from somewhere else, someone may have told them that, it is probably just a coincidence that they knew that information etc etc. I do tend to read the 'explanations' as well - some of them aren't that convincing either. They just go from the position of - this is what we know to be true (at the moment) so therefore it's the only possible explanation even if it doesn't quite fit. I know that's the position that you feel most comfortable with so we won't really get very far smile

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Wed 10-Apr-13 16:35:38

Okay... so you guys don't believe, and we are happy to.....

can we get back to the experiences now??????


bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 17:18:06

I'm with you littlebit! smile

ICBINEG Wed 10-Apr-13 18:01:22

littlebit ahhh that's sad. I thought you wanted to embrace the science?

But I guess now you know you would have to do more than just say 'yeah but I still think it might be' you have had a change of heart.

rockinhippy Wed 10-Apr-13 19:27:19

I sometimes wonder, how the hell we as a species ever managed to make any scientific advances at all, when the scientific bods ares so seemingly closed minded - surprised we are not still stuck without wheels, believing the world to be flat confused

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 19:42:27

Exactly rockinhippy. I guess there must be a few open minded ones out there!

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 20:15:59

Open minded is fantastic. And of course there are things that can't be explained-yet. But if things can be explained, surely it's a good idea to exhaust all the rational explanations before starting to look at the "out there" ones? Apart from anything else, it helps you avoid being conned by the unscrupulous. And there are many unscrupulous people in the "woo" world.

Here is an example. My brother went with a friend to a hypnotism show, and during it his friend was hypnotised, and, somewhat to the amazement of the hypnotist and the incredible excitement of the audience, started to talk about a past life and an Anglo Saxon. He went into huge detail, naming names and places and everyone had a fantastic evening. Except my brother, who recognised everything he said from a book they had both read at school 40 years earlier.

ICBINEG Wed 10-Apr-13 20:59:48

Do you realise that 'open minded' doesn't actually equate to 'believe any old shit with no evidence for it'?

Open minded means being willing to look at the evidence freshly even when you suspect there is little chance it will make any difference. It means being willing to change your opinion in the light of new evidence.

So here we are looking at your evidence and thinking about it is that closed minded?

Or would we only be open minded if we agree with you?

rockinhippy Wed 10-Apr-13 21:09:41


@ bumbleymummy - yes, there must be a few, otherwise we as a race would still be stuck in the dark ages - I expect its the successful ones grin

It's a real shame though, these threads could be really interesting, people would feel able to share some great stories & experiences - if it wasn't for a small handful who,insist on banging the same drum & can't read the thread title hmm

ICBINEG Wed 10-Apr-13 21:40:31

awesome debating skills've literally blown me away.

I will give up this life of science and be proper credulous for the rest of my life. Pass me the sugar pills, crystals and rekki manual...I mean there must be some chance they work? Would be closed minded to think the lack of evidence means anything other than that the so called scientists aren't working hard enough....

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 21:41:02

Yep! smile

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 21:41:58

That was to rockinhippy.

ICBINEG Wed 10-Apr-13 21:46:56


You remember the lost yellow bear story my DD was going on about, that I mentioned up thread?

Well I looked into it and the very week that my DD was complaining about a yellow bear going missing this was posted on freecycle :

'My daughter lost her loved small yellow bear at summer camp. But I know unclaimed items in lost and found get donated, so im hoping if someone has seen or bought a small yellow faded dirty "loved" beanie baby type bear in that area to please contact me because she is heartbroken, and no replacement would be the same. Thank you!'

The advert originated in the litchfield area so there is no WAY my DD could have known about this!

Inclusionist Wed 10-Apr-13 22:02:33

Ooh I haven't read the entire thread (and see seeker has done her bunfight thing).

However, my DS (2.7) said to me 'we used to live in a different house mummy' this week.

He's only just developed enough vocab to start describing his dreams so I'm sure it's that, but it did feel weird. People described him as an 'old soul' from birth and I do feel like I've known him much longer than 2 and a bit years and have this strange sense that we've been together before.

Inclusionist Wed 10-Apr-13 22:03:43

I have a neurology degree btw, but can still deal with a bit of woo!

rockinhippy Wed 10-Apr-13 22:17:45

awesome debating skills've literally blown me away

I'm not debating anything, theres no point, you won't listen & I have no desire to engage you, you are more than welcome to your opinion, I have mine & I don't really care - that's your prerogative but it might be nice if you weren't so holier than though God complex bombastic with it though & give others a chance to speak - or is that the scientific way - you say your view more than everyone else, over & over again - count up the posts in favour of anti-woo & whey hey - "woo" loses grin

I can read the thread title though grin - bye bye smile

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Wed 10-Apr-13 22:42:34

I agree with rockinhippy and refuse to engage you any more.

I'm willing to embrace possibilities and you aren't. That's okay. But please STOP telling me your point of view....If you want to start your own thread that's fine, but please leave this thread for people who want to discuss actual experiences

MostlyLovingLurchers Wed 10-Apr-13 22:56:49

There is a perpetual problem with trying to prove this kind of evidence is true. If a child says something that cannot be verified then you can argue it is made up. If it can be verified then there is always the possibility that it can have been known previously by the child albeit unwittingly, maybe deliberately.

There is also the problem that even if you could verify that the child did not have access to the information that it could be something else at play that we don't really know about rather than reincarnation. So, however compelling the stories and however rigorous the research, it is unlikely to ever be enough to say that reincarnation can be proven by past life recall in children. Unless we can find new techniques to validate these sort of stories (and prove the existence of the soul) then it will remain a matter of belief.

bumbleymummy Wed 10-Apr-13 22:58:17

Maybe he'll tell you a bit more inclusionist. Keep us posted! smile

MostlyLovingLurchers Wed 10-Apr-13 23:07:12

Here's a link to an interview with Dr Stevenson about his research and views. Interview is followed by one of his case studies if anyone is interested.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 23:09:30

"Ooh I haven't read the entire thread (and see seeker has done her bunfight thing)."

? At least I haven't been gratuitously offensive......

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 08:35:23

Just in case anyone's interested, here is a sceptical but measured and sympathetic article about Ian Stevenson. I think that he should be given huge credit for obviously wanting to believe so very much, but not letting that desire get in the way of his true scientific curiosity and desire for real evidence. He ended up where he had started- with no proof, despite examining thousands of cases. He also should be given credit for debunking many supposed cases of past life memory/regression, particularly under hypnosis, that convinced many others.

bumbleymummy Thu 11-Apr-13 09:28:50

Link doesn't work seeker.

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 09:33:32

Sorry. Try this

bruffin Thu 11-Apr-13 09:53:52

Anyone who knows me on these boards knows that i am not a woo type at all. I have read a few books on pas life's and none of them really confirmed there was any evidence.
However did have a very odd experience with my Dd 15 when she was 3.
We were on a train we get regularly but normally sit on the othetdside. Looking out the window we could see a cemetery in the distance. Dd suddenly announced that where they put dead people. She then started telling me that when she was here before she had been in a cemetery because and talked about being married then killed by a policemen with a knife.
She does have a really good imagination but not in that sort of way. The way She talked was not her normal language. She mentioned being here before one other time a few weeks later and there was another odd comment about her grandad calling her gingetnut which wasn't his vocabulary as he was Greek.

We had not had anyone close die and she had never been to cemetery either.

She has no memory of it now
It was a very strange experience and still to this day don't know what to think of it. Its not yhevsort of thing should have seen on tv at that age.

bumbleymummy Thu 11-Apr-13 10:13:19

That's a bit freaky bruffin. I know DS (4) really has no concept of what death is or what a graveyard is. when children start talking about those things it just seems so strange.

Seeker: Interesting article here about scientific 'proof'. I liked this quote:

"Real scientists never use the words “scientific proofs,” because they know no such thing exists. Anyone who uses the words “proof,” “prove” and “proven” in their discussion of science is not a real scientist."

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 10:28:19

Have you come arose the expression "beyond reasonable doubt"?

ICBINEG Thu 11-Apr-13 10:29:19

well thats okay then...the only person on this thread who claims to have conclusive proof was someone saying that some people have proof of we can discard what they said quite happily.

Every time I used it, it was in conjunctions with 'cannot' as in 'cannot prove' or 'prove beyond reasonable doubt' which still allows unreasonable doubt and absolute proof as the remit of mathematics alone....

Does no one care that I verified my DD's missing yellow bear story?

ICBINEG Thu 11-Apr-13 10:34:05

seeker I liked the bit in the article that points out that the methodology of going around showing that a story can be matched with a real event can never either produce evidence for or against reincarnation.

It can't provide evidence for reincarnation because there is always a different way for the information to have arrived in the candidate's brain. Either rumour, memory, dream, or just spontaneous neuronal activity.

Fundamentally thinking something is not evidence of where that thought originated.

It can't provide evidence against reincarnation because when a story turns out not to match you just say that person was wrong or not reincarnated or doesn't remember or whatever.

Fundamentally the fact I remember no past lives does not mean I am not reincarnated.

When I was little, I used to talk about my 'other mummy'.

seeker Thu 11-Apr-13 11:59:33

It's obviously impossible to prove that reincarnation doesn't happen. It's just that there are more likely and logical explanations for the examples people give.

I think Ian Stevenson was quite impressive in his commitment to the scientific method. Apart from the bit where he said that birth defects could mean that a person had been injured in a past life- that somebody who had had fingers cut off as a punishment in a past life might be born with finger deformities in their next life.

CelticPixie Sat 13-Apr-13 12:47:16

Guys, isn't it obvious that ICEBINEG is just trolling. Don't feed it and it will go away ;)

My own DD's have never mentioned anything strange like this, however I used to look after a little boy of four who one day, quite randomly out of nowhere told me that he used to live in China and that he'd been stabbed in the belly with a sword and died. It made my blood run cold.

seeker Sat 13-Apr-13 13:34:19

So any sort of disagreement is trolling now? Wow.

CelticPixie Sat 13-Apr-13 13:49:31

There's disagreement and then there's doing it for a reaction and that's what she's doing IMO.

insanityscratching Sat 13-Apr-13 14:00:28

My dd until she was about four used to talk about "who I used to be" She had her other mummy and a brother Peter and sister Edith. She said she died when she had an accident in a factory when she was only a little girl and they were often hungry as her other Daddy had died.
She used to tell me all sorts of things about her life before me and said she was glad she came to me as I was kinder than her other Mummy who used to hit her sad

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 14:37:14

Where are the stories of past lives of people who lived long and mundane lives eventually popping their clogs sitting in a piss stained chair in an old people's home in Slough?

seeker Sat 13-Apr-13 15:31:36

"There's disagreement and then there's doing it for a reaction and that's what she's doing IMO."

I suspect the reaction she is hoping for is that people might stop and think for a moment- open their minds to rationality, if you like.

MostlyLovingLurchers Sat 13-Apr-13 17:20:02

Where are the stories of past lives of people who lived long and mundane lives eventually popping their clogs sitting in a piss stained chair in an old people's home in Slough?

According to Stevenson (sorry to keep going on about him but he's pretty much the only person who's done any serious research on this):

'Violent death is a factor in our cases. In more than seven hundred cases in six different cultures, sixty-one percent remembered having died violently. But are these cases actually representative? Those involving accidents, murders, and suicides are bound to get more attention than others in which the child remembers a quiet life. Children also tend to remember the final years or a previous life. Almost seventy five percent of our children appear to recall the way they died, and if death was violent, they remember it in vivid detail.'

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 17:42:38

Alternatively the parents are more likely to remember things the children's ramblings that are emotionally charged. Another thing I notice is the frequency with which the stories involve the child dying as a child. When children write stories they tend to have plenty of children in the story, usually themselves. Coming back to my original point, why is no one researching the phenomenom of monsters under the bed? How do we know that isn't real? If our main criteria of proof is that 'someone said it so it must be true' then following that logic we have to believe in a lot of stuff.

bumbleymummy Sat 13-Apr-13 17:52:43

Well I think a young child talking in detail about death would draw attention if they didn't really save any experience/knowledge of it. Many of the children's stories involve them dying in adulthood, not as children.

Setting up a camera under the bed/in the wardrobe should help with the monster theory smile

MostlyLovingLurchers Sat 13-Apr-13 18:00:02

Did you read the case i linked to earlier? She didn't die as a child in her previous life.

bumbleymummy Sat 13-Apr-13 18:06:52

Save = have in my pp.

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 18:36:49

Ah but only children have the ability to see the monsters. We lose that ability as we get older sadly.

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 18:48:38

Sorry when I said the frequency with which they die as children, I didn't mean that all of them do, sorry for not making that clear.

Don't get me wrong, reincarnation is a cool idea but there is as much evidence for that as there is for every other baseless fantasy that man has created. I think what appeals about reincarnation is that it ties in with the our tendency towards the Just World Hypothesis and karma etc.

bumbleymummy Sat 13-Apr-13 18:52:14

Would you like to explain how the evidence for monsters under the bed is the same as evidence for reincarnation? It might make it easier to understand the comparison.

MostlyLovingLurchers Sat 13-Apr-13 19:17:56

Reincarnation does not have to have anything to do with karma - some belief systems equate the two which is why they get lumped together. A belief in reincarnation does not necessarily equate to a belief in karma.

Also, many of the faiths that do have reincarnation as a central tenet see it as something to avoid, not something to look forward to - the goal is to not have to come back to this world of illusion and suffering anymore - Buddhism for example.

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 19:23:57

The evidence is the same as in it comes down to what someone is saying regardless if wether that someone is 2 or 100. If we use what someone is saying as evidence then the flood gates are open and you would have no grounds to challenge anyone's personal experience of anything. What's your criteria for belief?

bumbleymummy Sat 13-Apr-13 19:28:16

Head, as has been pointed out on this thread quite a few times, it isn't just based on what someone has said - sometimes the information given can be verified.

screweduppotatoe Sat 13-Apr-13 19:29:48

"He also, at the same age, told me knowledgeably that all souls are "recycled" -that babies look down and choose their mummys and daddys, before "swooping down" into the mummy's tummy and waiting to be born." truelymadlydeeply This is exactly the concept presented within the "Journey of Souls" book by Michael Newton

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 19:40:02

Same with horoscopes, according to statistics at some point somewhere something will match the story given. Do you believe in horoscopes, tarot, Allah, Yahweh, UFO's and so on?

bumbleymummy Sat 13-Apr-13 19:41:36

Again, as discussed on the thread, it is not always vague, generic statements that are given but specific information that can be verified with others.

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 19:46:00

Refer to my previous post.

bumbleymummy Sat 13-Apr-13 19:50:34

That's the one I was answering. smile

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 20:20:42

Statistically it would be more remarkable if there were no examples of something a child uttered being similar to a real life event. It's akin to all the 9/11 conspiracies et al. Now if you're going to ignore the misses and concentrate on the hits you need to start believing in a load of stuff, even stuff people don't tend to believe in anymore such as Zeus.

bumbleymummy Sat 13-Apr-13 20:24:08

Not sure how 9/11 conspiracies have come into this. You jump ar

bumbleymummy Sat 13-Apr-13 20:25:08

Around a lot smile

Back to the thread - anyone else's children talking about past lives?

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 20:35:01

It's to do with coincidence, it's a feature or conspiracy theories. Taking two unrelated events and assuming a connection. Which is what is happening with the 'hits' referred to on this thread.

bumbleymummy Sat 13-Apr-13 20:38:11

Well you have your opinion and I have mine smile

Back to the thread!

MostlyLovingLurchers Sat 13-Apr-13 21:55:48

I think a lot of the documented cases clearly demonstrate that we are not talking about the odd coincidence. They demonstrate that some children are coming out with many pieces of very specific information that it is highly unlikely (granted not impossible) that the child or their family could have known, especially in the cases where the two families have no connection and are separated geographically. The information was subsequently verified as correct. It is disingenuous to put it in the same category as someone thinking about someone who then happens to call etc. No-one is claiming this is proof, but i think it is at least interesting and worthy of proper investigation.

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 22:08:59

Why don't you submit your evidence to to the necessary bodies then mostly?

ICBINEG Sat 13-Apr-13 22:17:31

yep lots of the stories list specific details....

like someone listing the specific lottery numbers that come know not a small number...and a number beginning with 4....but the actual list of six specific numbers in spite of the odds against it being millions to 1.

Doesn't stop it being a doesn't provide evidence for premonition....

So if someone picks a few names and a place name and a mode of unlikely is it that somewhere in the whole world, that combination of names and places and mode of death will have occurred? More or less likely than winning the lottery?

The details can be specific and it still be a coincidence...because the world is big and number of credulous persons large.....

MostlyLovingLurchers Mon 15-Apr-13 13:13:34

HiH - it is not MY evidence - it is the evidence of 3000+ cases collected by Dr Ian Stevenson. He was not some crackpot - he tried to apply scientific method to his research, not perfectly, but he tried. The evidence is published in many journals and his own books - i'm sure anyone interested in researching this area is already well aware of it.

ICBINEG - i think the odds of winning the lottery are about 14 million to 1. High odds, but nothing to do with coincidence. Nothing to do with premonition.

Of course there is the possibility of coincidence in some of the cases (and yes, i get that there could be 100 verificable facts and it could still be coincidence), as is the possibility of fraud, mistake, amnesia. This research tried to account for these possibilities. Research in this area is always likely to be flawed because of it's nature - how does a researcher get to hear of a case in the first instance, how can they ensure that there is no contact between the old and new families etc etc?

No-one is claiming that any of this evidence is proof, and no-one is trying to make anyone else believe in reincarnation. Stevenson himself:

'Essentially I say that the idea of reincarnation permits but doesn't compel belief. All the cases I've investigated so far have shortcomings. Even taken together, they do not offer anything like proof. But as the body of evidence accumulates, it's more likely that more and more people will see its relevance.'

ICBINEG Mon 15-Apr-13 13:36:36

mostly getting the lottery numbers right is certainly a coincidence.....(maybe just a typo in your post) otherwise I think we agree broadly speaking.

seeker Mon 15-Apr-13 15:08:02

Several of Ian Stevenson's case histories have been looked into and found to be fraud/wishful thinking.

You do know that he didn't interview any of those people himself, don't you? He had to work through an interpreter, and they were almost all in countries where belief in reincarnation in some form is part of the religion.

Why didn't he carry out his research in America?

MostlyLovingLurchers Mon 15-Apr-13 15:38:09

He says himself not all the cases are reliable as evidence and that some were fraudulent.

He had a whole team of researchers working on the project. Are you criticising his methodology on the basis that he didn't speak every language in south asia?

He did carry out research in north america. He said though that more cases occur in countries where a belief in reincarnation is the norm as the parents were less likely to disregard it. In the west it is not generally something that we are looking for.

I don't want to keep defending Stevenson's work. I have said it is not proof. I have said it is flawed. He believed in some things that i don't think are well supported by the evidence (like the birthmarks). That said, he endeavoured to bring scientific rigour to the research, and the evidence is interesting.

I mentioned him initially because there is very little meaningful reasearch in this area apart from him, and i thought it might be interesting for those whose children have come out with statements about other lives. If anyone wants to read his work they can. If you think it is a load of woo then disregard it.

IamtheZombie Tue 16-Apr-13 00:17:41

I knew Ian Stevenson personally. He carried out his research in a professional manner. He was a highly principled man and well aware of the potential pitfalls and the allegations that would no doubt be levelled against him and his research. He is not to be lightly dismissed.

seeker Tue 16-Apr-13 08:39:33

No. But even highly principled, honest people can be wrong. And anyway, he was very clear that his research proved nothing.

Are people seriously saying that it is even remotely credible that if somebody has a hand cut off in one life, they will be reincarnated with a hand deformity? If you believe in the existence of souls as seperate from bodies, then I can see why the idea of reincarnation is credible- but surely the idea a physical injury being reincarnated as a birth defect is just a step too far?

MostlyLovingLurchers Tue 16-Apr-13 10:26:54

Thank you Zombie. I have been trying, obviously not well enough, to differentiate the work he did from the Brian Weiss/Michael Newton type stuff, which is entirely based on past life regression - which, incidentally, Stevenson rejected.

Seeker - he did not find definitive proof, but he did find evidence, some of it problematic, some of it difficult to dismiss (not impossible, but difficult). I am glad that you think the idea of reincarnation is at least credible. Obviously if you don't believe in the existence of the soul you are not going to accept the concept of reincarnation.

I hope that those who have had experience of this with their own children will continue to post. I was really interested. My ds's vocabulary still mostly consists of boob and bum, so i have a little wait before i know if he is going to come out with anything interesting.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Tue 16-Apr-13 11:05:25

OKAY - I have a new question about proving these experiences.

SCIENTISTS have proven that when an experiment is observed IN LAB CONDITIONS the results are affected.

the same experiment with the same part, the only difference is that one experiment is observed and one isn't.

Surely.... if the proven phenomenon of observation changes the results of a test.... why are we surprised and insist on THIS phenomenon to be observed, measured and proved?

IndigoBarbie Tue 16-Apr-13 11:19:39

Alittlebit yes!!!! Thankyou
It's not just children who talk about it there are many adults who remember and I'm not wholly convinced that the idea if research is to actually be able to show proof-it's subjective, however what it does show is that similar things happen to people and can be quantified.
I'm still a bit sad thinking that their has to be a scientific explanation or it's not real.
Of the scientists I know- they fully accept their work as theories and are open to possibilities.

IamtheZombie Tue 16-Apr-13 11:39:48

"Of the scientists I know- they fully accept their work as theories and are open to possibilities."

Exactly, IndigoBarbie.

ICBINEG Tue 16-Apr-13 14:17:44

oh ffs.

I am scientist. I am open to the possibility that reincarnation occurs. I have reviewed the evidence and come to the conclusion that it highly unlikely that reincarnation occurs due to there being no evidence for it happening that cannot be explained by already known and proven mechanisms.

<This is what science looks like>

ICBINEG Tue 16-Apr-13 14:21:11

little wtaf are you talking about now?

An experiment is something in which a quantity is measured. If you don't do an experiment then you have no evidence for or against anything. If you do an experiment then don't look at the results then you have no evidence for or against anything.

You only need to find evidence for reincarnation if you actually care if it happens or not. If you are happy to believe it happens with no evidence then clearly the evidence is unnecessary.

Scientist collect evidence / do experiments because they care about what actually happens, not what people would like to think actually happens.

Is this clear?

seeker Tue 16-Apr-13 14:22:08

However, this position will be reviewed if further evidence emerges which cannot be explained by known and proved mechanisms.

Interested in what people think about the birth defect thing.

ICBINEG Tue 16-Apr-13 14:25:10

There is a perfectly good scientific theory to explain the 'toddlers speaking of past lives' phenomenon, it just doesn't involve reincarnation.

And yes it is a theory, and yes if there is new data that theory may yet be found to be insufficient to explain the experimental data. In which case a new theory will be constructed which may or may not include any reference to reincarnation.

But you need some evidence to disprove the current theory first!

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Tue 16-Apr-13 16:20:59

I'm actually talking about QUANTUM THEORY

which states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality.

I understand this might be a 'ickle' bit difficult for you to understand ICBINEG

seeker Tue 16-Apr-13 16:27:26

Er- I don't think that's what quantum theory says......

Sounds a bit Shroedinger-ish to me....

IndigoBarbie Tue 16-Apr-13 21:30:03

I just don't get it. I mean, why if it is quite obviously something that many are experiencing (and not all parents are having their kids scientifically tested - I mean, who to turn to? exactly? historians or record keepers or people with long memories...) do people act like it's their kid's wild imaginings and dismiss it as imagination.

It is through the power of imagination that we create our every moment in life, (there is a thought, there is an action etc) and yet, we dismiss it as if it's something to be scoffed at.

ICB - why would someone have to disprove current theories and not, say, come up with another one and do a different kind of research? Do we need to obtain some kind of special funding to kick off this new research?

ICBINEG Tue 16-Apr-13 22:12:06

little an experiment in quantum mechanics is the same as any other experiment.

You set it up and you make measurements and record the data.

The same data would be recorded whether or not the scientist is looking at the data.

You are confusing uncertainty in the experimental protocol or uncertainty in the recording of data (which is not a part of scientific method AT ALL) with uncertainty in the actual quantum state of small-molecular sized ensembles of atoms.

The quantum state of a test ensemble measured by an experiment will depend on the interactions (with light or other matter) that have happened to that ensemble. Such an interaction is termed "an observation" because the other light/matter retains information about the interaction which can be interrogated and used to collapse the uncertainty in the test quantum state. When you then measure the quantum state of your test ensemble you can tell if has interacted or not.

I hope you can see that:

a) Observation of a quantum mechanical experiment (or any other experiment) does not change the outcomes of the experiment.
b) Observation, with reference to quantum mechanics does not at all have anything to do with observation by people but actually refers to interaction with photons or matter.
c) It might not be me having an ickle bit of difficulty understanding the princples of quantum mechanics.....

ICBINEG Tue 16-Apr-13 22:20:59

indigo The scientific method is as follows: Observe the world, formulate a theory about why something happens, check to see if the theory matches all the available data.

Why would you look for an alternative explanation if your current explanation fits all of the data?

Would you have scientists spending all the time thinking up new theories to explain Newtonian mechanics even though we have had an adequate functioning theory for over 300 years?

Or should scientists working on curing cancers stop what they are doing and come up with a new theory to replace evolution even though they use it's outcomes everyday in their work?

We use a theory till it breaks...only then do we look for a replacement. Otherwise we would waste all of our time requestioning all of the basic tenets over and over again.

Of course even our theories of gravity, quantum, even Newtonian mechanics or thermodynamics would come up for the axe if new data emerged that put them into question. Nothing is sacrosanct but we have to reserve the main thrust of our effort on things that there is evidence we cannot already explain.

ICBINEG Tue 16-Apr-13 22:49:33

indigo regarding the funding, I have applied for funding for research and the key metrics are basically a) what is it that doesn't work/isn't understood that you want to fix/understand b) how is this going to benefit humanity.

It would be hard to answer part a) because the consensus is that the current model of toddler past life stories seems to explain all the data and work perfectly well. b) would presumably be huge if you did find evidence to support reincarnation....but the most likely outcome of spending time and effort on this is that, like others before you, you do not change the level of evidence for reincarnation.

What would you propose as a research programme?

You could:
1. Select toddlers at random ( maybe you would need a few 1000).
2. Ask the families to record their lives for a month, possibly lying about why so as not to bias the maybe tell them it is a language development programme?
3. List all examples of relating of experiences that did not directly match the toddlers real environment. (this would be tough to record accurately as you would have to wait till after the month had elapsed to ask what was going on in reality).
4. Look at the incidence of spooky stories
5. look at the correlation of spooky stories with actual past events.
6. do some baysian analysis to work out if the prior assumption of 'no reincarnation' was able to predict that number of hits purely from chance.

What do you think? Would you expect this to work? What would you do differently?

MostlyLovingLurchers Wed 17-Apr-13 11:41:40

Not representative of the entire scientific community i realise, but Carl Sagan thought that past life recall in children was one of the few areas of parapsychology worth serious study.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Wed 17-Apr-13 11:56:08

Quantum Theory Demonstrated: Observation Affects Reality

Feb. 27, 1998 — REHOVOT, Israel, February 26, 1998--One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality.

In a study reported in the February 26 issue of Nature (Vol. 391, pp. 871-874), researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have now conducted a highly controlled experiment demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. The experiment revealed that the greater the amount of "watching," the greater the observer's influence on what actually takes place.

The research team headed by Prof. Mordehai Heiblum, included Ph.D. student Eyal Buks, Dr. Ralph Schuster, Dr. Diana Mahalu and Dr. Vladimir Umansky. The scientists, members of the Condensed Matter Physics Department, work at the Institute's Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Center for Submicron Research.

When a quantum "observer" is watching Quantum mechanics states that particles can also behave as waves. This can be true for electrons at the submicron level, i.e., at distances measuring less than one micron, or one thousandth of a millimeter. When behaving as waves, they can simultaneously pass through several openings in a barrier and then meet again at the other side of the barrier. This "meeting" is known as interference.

Strange as it may sound, interference can only occur when no one is watching. Once an observer begins to watch the particles going through the openings, the picture changes dramatically: if a particle can be seen going through one opening, then it's clear it didn't go through another. In other words, when under observation, electrons are being "forced" to behave like particles and not like waves. Thus the mere act of observation affects the experimental findings.

ICBINEG Wed 17-Apr-13 23:10:40

little Your post says the same as mine (although I guess you don't realise that). In this case (and all others) the observer is not the scientist. The observer is an interaction as I stated in my post.

The scientist collects all the data which would be the same if s/he collected them/ looked at them or not.

The measurement made to see which slot the electron goes though is done by a particle detector not a human. If the detector interacts with the electron then the measurements made later on in the experiment for that electron reveal the interaction. Again as I said in my post.

Really all this is saying is that if you interact with a quantum system it retains that knowledge in a way that can be later detected. It is subtley mathematically different from the way in which you can detect light in your eye but such detection destroys the light itself, but not philosophically different.

The act of recording the data or looking at it as a human has no impact on the behaviour of the system.

Interacting with the system does. Which is presumably what anyone would expect. Quantum observation is one way of interacting with electrons - there are many others.

Moominsarehippos Wed 17-Apr-13 23:21:08

My neice used to say things. I can't remember (long time ago) but at the time she really freaked us out! Must ask sis what they were.

MrTumblesTreasureMap Wed 24-Apr-13 23:56:36

Sorry if this has already been said but its a lot like cold reading isn't it? Fake mediums who say they have a message from the other side throw out loads of names or facts all at once and the person listening only focuses on the ones the "medium" got right and completely forgets the other five or six facts that were said before that that were incorrect. Eventually the medium will hit on something accurate by guessing and that's the part everyone remembers. They forget all the mistakes in the excitement of it all.

Its the same with this. A parent is less likely to remember all the times little Johnny spoke about being a soldier riding a bumblebee or a flying moon man from planet Zog. They'll only remember the ones that coincidentally match up to a local story or to a part of family history because they do match up. All the hundreds of other random things the toddler says will just be forgotten about when that one random time is an accurate guess, like the medium's one fact.

Sanctimummy Sun 25-Aug-13 20:47:08

Well done for ruining a perfectly entertaining thread with all the bullshit arguing.

Dirtypaws Mon 26-Aug-13 22:21:57

How about our need to make sense of what is around us? In addition, with the decline in religion, are we not seeking out something that is other worldly? I read something the other day in the telegraph about atheists being insane! Apparently we are hard wired to believe (religion). If you dont thenn youre more likely to depression, addiction etc etc. I find this a leetle hard to believe !!!! But is there not a void in a common bond? Btw I am an atheist. In a way, I wish I believed as apparently believers are happier! Also I would like to believe in an atheist I find it difficult to accept when you die, that's it

headinhands Mon 26-Aug-13 23:14:52

There is evidence of very early cultures that had no discernible religious/spiritual artefacts so couldn't say it was hard wired in all of us although we do have a tendency to pattern seek which could explain the 4000 or so religions man has made.

bumbleymummy Tue 27-Aug-13 08:38:17

Any chance we can get back to the original thread? smile

keiraash82 Mon 16-Sep-13 11:31:04

Incredible and so fascinating!

I think reincarnation is very plausible. Although none of my kids have ever mentioned anything, I do believe that most of us are programmed to forget.

I really recommend this book:

A hypnotherapist's research on a large number of people who were regressed and their lives between lives.

Their accounts are amazing and very odd that each one recalls a similar occurance when leaving the body.

Whether your a believer or not, definitely worth a read. Most of its translated audio scripts so its very easy to read!

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